Super Bowl ‘Bellyaching’ Over GM's Ads

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GM building

There's a puzzling line of complaints/digs being hurled at General Motors about its plan to run ads during the Super Bowl.

It goes something like this, "GM shouldn't be spending millions of dollars running spots during the Super Bowl because the company is just coming out of bankruptcy and should spend its money more prudently."

I've seen variations of this criticism on line and heard it from several people at the Detroit Auto Showa few weeks ago.

Hey GM bashers, get a clue.

You may not think advertising during the Super Bowl is effective. You may think GM can get more bang for its buck by spending its advertising dollars in other ways. Those are legitimate points and worthy of a discussion. But that's not at the heart of the criticism surrounding GM running spots during the Super Bowl. These criticisms amount to people thinking GM should not make a big splash or spend large amounts of money because the company was bankrupt not long ago.

To quote a friend of mine, "What are they supposed to do at GM? Sit around and do nothing while other automakers eat their lunch?" Of course not.

If GM is going to thrive and grow, its executives need to spend money, be aggressive and apologize to no one for their strategy. This is what Joel Ewanick, the man who runs GM marketing, was brought in to do. Will spending millions during the Super Bowl pay off for GM? Who knows. But I don't see critics bashing Mercedes, Hyundai, BMW or the automakers also running spots during the big game.

What cracks me up is when I asked one critic at the Detroit Auto Showif he would advertise during the Super Bowl if he ran GM his answer, "Probably. Especially if it's a good spot that will get people talking."

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