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Here’s $50 Billion – NOW GET BACK UP!


Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

After the turkey day binge the mind turns to football. Huddled around a 53″ flat-screen, watching an unusually tight Saints v. Cowboys game I saw General Motor’s Thanksgiving Day spot, which frames the company’s bankruptcy and subsequent $49.5 billion bailout from the government as just another misstep in a long line of mistakes people make.

‘We all fall down’ says the ad, ‘Thank you for helping us get back up.’

Initial reactions within the family room (survey of 6 adults) was that’s a great ad. Everyone in the room loved the Animal House and John Belushi segments.

Reflecting on it I’ve become a bit more jaded. Not one of the examples in the spot showed “getting back up” with the help of someone else. Not the fallen boxer, not the brothers of Delta Tau Chi in Animal House, not Popeye (although he did crack open a can of Spinach). Only GM. Presumably receiving nearly $50 billion makes standing that much easier.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 11/29/2010 10:55 am

    Rick, Seems this spot was a big topic of discussion with many marketeers over the weekend. I think it’s interesting as you point out that most of the images show people not receiving help (Evel Kneivel was carried off). I was more struck by the mix of serious (NASA, motorcycle crash, boxing) imagery with comic (Animal House, Popeye) to keep things from becoming too heavy (pun intended). Overall, I think the idea of a thank you resonated well with those I watched with. A nice opportunity to marry a message to the holiday. But as I said, spots like this won’t get them to the future, just help get over the past.

    • 11/29/2010 11:14 am

      Thanks for weighing in.

      I did overlook the fact that Evel Kneivel was carried off the pavement… that definitely constitutes as assistance. I must have been suffering from post-turkey sleepiness when I wrote this post.

      Perhaps a follow up spot with what those who have gotten back up have accomplished could be used to tee up what is yet to come for GM.

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