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Ad Nauseam

Ad Nauseam: General Motors’ Flying Cars

5:34 PM EST on November 3, 2006

After receiving a heavy dose of car commercials during the New York Mets playoff run last month, I decided that it was time to start a new feature on Streetsblog called Ad Nauseum. Below is the first installment.

Commercial: General Motors' "Elevate"

Created by: Deutsch, Los Angeles

Narrative:
Morning has broken across a smoggy, yellowish, post-Apocalyptic looking America. The sound of honking horns and slowly grinding traffic congestion fills the air. We see the faces of frustrated, miserable car commuters and in the background a radio traffic reporter is saying, "...traffic is gridlocked all the way to downtown..."

GM_adsurd2.jpg

A pissed off looking male motorist jabs at the dashboard radio and the traffic report is replaced by the sound of Jet's "Get What You Need." As the rock music pumps, the angry driver's expression turns to amazement as his 6,000 pound Cadillac Escalade begins to levitate above the non-GM brand vehicles still stuck in traffic below.

GM_adsurd.jpg

It's a miracle. GM cars are levitating above the streets of Miami, Los Angeles, New York and the Golden Gate Bridge. A male voice intones: "A new level of strength. A new level of quality. Introducing the GM 100,000 mile warranty. A new level of confidence." Rock singer: "You're gonna get what you neeeeeed..." The levitating cars begin zipping through the sky leaving America's streets to Japanese-made vehicles, hybrid cars, bikes, buses and pedestrians.

Analysis:
General Motors spent $551 million on corporate advertising last year so you know the marketing team has been paid good money to identify the problem: Americans aren't happy in their cars anymore. Across the land, GM's customers are stuck in gridlocked traffic, frustrated and pissed off.

Fortunately, GM's ad agency also gets paid good money and they have come up with a solution. No, it's not commuter rail, bicycling or congestion charging -- the answer is flying cars. Unfortunately, GM isn't selling flying cars. All they have to offer is a new 100,000 mile warranty program. But rest assured: The financially struggling corporate giant, which posted a $3.4 billion loss last quarter, feels your pain. You're going to get what you need.

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