Rants & Raves

Ad strategy: 8; Ad execution: -5; Communication plan: 0

Ad strategy: 8; Ad execution: -5; Communication plan: 0

I’m sure you’ve heard the radio ads put on recently by GM that focus on servicing your GM car at GM dealers. What were they thinking ?

Each ad features several vignettes of people so desperate to have their GM vehicle serviced that they corner the poor GM service shmuck whenever they can. For example, there’s a patient in the process of going under anesthetic in the dentist chair when the dentist asks him: ‘Gord, can you take a look at my Alero?’

They make a point of naming three different GM brands in each spot, so we can really understand that all GM brands require a hell of a lot of servicing.

I think I know what the strategy was: If you’re going to get your GM car or truck serviced, you should go to the expert. Fine. But servicing should never be the top-of-mind, heavy rotation communication about any car – I want to believe that any car I buy in the future will never need servicing. Cars are expensive enough. Much better to go the route of Toyota and Honda and put discreet ads in the Auto section of the paper about using ‘genuine’ branded parts.

I can just imagine what the individual GM brand managers must have thought after they heard this obviously corporate-driven ad: ‘Get my brand the hell out of that spot!’

Certainly makes me feel even better about driving a Toyota.

Chris Dunsmuir

Category Business Director

- Refrigerated & Frozen Meals

Kraft Canada

Toronto, Ont.

Morning radio ads brain-numbing

Evidence that radio as an art has been set adrift down stomach-churning channels of profit-before-effectiveness can be found in abundance while listening to many popular morning AM stations. From illogical, badly acted storylines about computer-monitored security systems, to downright ugly, self-absorbed, ego advertising featuring CNE-type presidents shilling men’s clothing and free home alarm installations, morning radio has become a brain-numbing minefield of consumer-crushing advertising boners driving many listeners scrambling to seek non-frequency silence. Perhaps some day radio sales departments will recognize that maintaining good client relations means recommending their customers seek professional help to boost long-term sales and brand positioning instead of sitting in the boardroom counting short-term money returns.

Michael Glaab

Area 51 Communications

Toronto, Ont.

Win a free bag of swag!

Send in your rant (adsthatsuck@strategymag.com) or rave (adsthatrock@strategymag.com) and, if we deem your response the best of the lot, we’ll send you some goodies. If you think you’ll be a winner, demographic tips, like if you have a pet or kids, help us choose pertinent treats. This issue’s winner is Chris Dunsmuir.