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Old 02-09-07, 10:03 PM   #1
cycle17
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Foundation Causes a stink...gets GM to change ad

I just read today that The American Foundation For Suicide Prevention made such a ruckus about the GM Robot ad that GM is now pulling the ad and editing it!

I won't downplay the work they do in trying to help people, but.... it's a commercial!... about building cars! With a dream sequence!...... With a robot for christ sake! It's not real!

In their zeal to be politically correct, they have become one of the very things that is wrong with America these days.... We want to make everyone happy. We don't want to hurt anyones feelings. Shield everyone from the all the "bad" things in life. The world is a rosey place full of butterflies and rainbows. IMO They're taking it too far when they want to waste so much time and effort fighting a darn commercial. Unbelievable! Sorry but, this country is going to hell in a handbasket!!
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Old 02-09-07, 10:05 PM   #2
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Its not so much that they were offended by the commercial. I'm pretty sure they just wanted attention.
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Old 02-09-07, 11:29 PM   #3
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Damn... I heard about that earlier today but at that time, GM was saying they weren't going to pull or change the ad. PC run amok!
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Old 02-10-07, 12:02 AM   #4
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I can agree with both the OP and Michigander, I roll like that. But I have my own feelings on this subject.
My job is directly related to the auto industry and I had many many many friends lose their jobs from Ford and GM over the last few years during the Big 2's downsizing.
Every single autoworker saw their future in this commercial. That was the underlining issue with this advert.

GM tries to use robots to convey a sense of quality in an attempt to take on Toyota's reputation. However anyone that knows anything about the Toyota Production System, aka lean manufacturing, knows that a core component is people. People create the suggestions for improvement that lead to improved quality. Robots can't do that.

In a similar vein, GM fires the robot after a single miniscule mistake. However lean teaches us that the process is most likely the problem, not people. In a Toyota plant, the robot that dropped the screw would be immediately surrounded by a team trying to figure out how the process failed and how it could be improved. Not a team looking down on the robot. People have the knowledge and experience that can be leveraged. You don't just fire them.

The spot is supposed to tout GM's new 100,000 mile warranty (something that what, Kia, pushed five years ago?). But what it--and virtually every ad for every GM product--does is underscore what a crap factory GM is.

Now, imagine the entire lot of auto industry workers, 25,000 of whom will soon be in the same spot as this robot via GM itself, watching this commercial. Countless more in Michigan and other locales have already lost their job to such robots, and I am sure schadenfreude is the last thing on their minds. No, they saw their lives mimicked and mocked in this robot's quest for work reflect their own journey to a land of severely less paying service industry job. They will connect with the hopelessness captured by the robot, a hopelessness that is post-manufacturing in America's heartland. And they might even throw a can of beer at the TV in disgust over how disconnected the fat cat board members of GM who approved this ad have become.

GM watches as robot commits suicide, does nothing.

Just a horrible, mean-spirited ad. GM proves it remains an uncaring 20th century behemoth. Stressing out even its machines so much they're considering suicide. GM demonstrates its ruthlessness and unwillingness to invest in its people. The only resonance this will have in the heartland of America is how little GM understands the people that live there. A purely brutal corporate message.

The GM robot commercial was offensive and off-base. So what do those GM execs do?
They turn it into a major rebranding strategy and promote the heck out of it. Such as on the home page of GM. And even pay more bucks to show it on CNN's website.

Unbelievable. Nothing like doing your best to promote the fact that you're ignorant of what real manufacturing excellence, and quality, is really about. People, knowledge, and process. Not robots, static algorithms, and the assumption that the worker causes mistakes.
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Old 02-10-07, 12:10 AM   #5
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I was going to ask for the video of the ad, but here it is on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3NGN4t4hm4.
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Old 02-10-07, 12:17 AM   #6
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I am so mad that I am going to kill my robot and throw it off a bridge.
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Old 02-10-07, 02:52 AM   #7
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That stinks. I can see how that would scare some people, but it was my favorite super bowl commercial. That robot was so cute.
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Old 02-10-07, 03:13 AM   #8
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My favourite commercial that came on during the superbowl actually came on before the game started. It was the Combos (tm) commercial that had the tagline "Combos, what your mom would tell you to eat, if your mom were a man". That one was great!
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Old 02-10-07, 03:33 AM   #9
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What happened to the days when people just said "grow thicker skin!"? I remember getting picked on at school and my mom told me to stop being a sissy and deal with it. Now a days, everyone has to watch out and not step on someone else's toes. People need to learn to deal with disappointment, not avoid it and pretend it doesn't exist. Great job anti-suicide group.
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Old 02-10-07, 07:36 AM   #10
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I think the people who concocted the other GM commercials were contemplating pushing the robot aside and jumping off that bridge. The robot commercial was successful, in that it got attention (I got the "cute" part, but otherwise it didn't sit well with me). Their other commercials were just flat-out lame.

When a commercial gets pulled, it's almost always because the sponsors realize that when all factors are considered, it won't help them bring more money in the door.
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Old 02-10-07, 08:51 AM   #11
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GM Cars - built to last 6 years - At 6 years you have to go in for 2500 dollars worth of repairs
Ford cars - built to last 3 years - At 3 years you are looking to trade in or you're wallet is drained
Toyota - 10-15 years and the vehicles still aint had to see the inside of a mechanics auto garage.

I agree with cycle, mighigander and cross
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Old 02-10-07, 09:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrosseyedCrickt
Every single autoworker saw their future in this commercial. That was the underlining issue with this advert.
When I first saw the ad during the SB, that was almost exactly my first thought - this is a robot mimicking what has and will continue to happen with real people. I wasn't offended, but neither were my spirits lifted nor did I get warm fuzzies for GM - it just made me kinda sad. I thought 'what freakin bonehead came up with this?"
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Old 02-10-07, 09:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cross
The spot is supposed to tout GM's new 100,000 mile warranty (something that what, Kia, pushed five years ago?). But what it--and virtually every ad for every GM product--does is underscore what a crap factory GM is.
All of the cars that don't last put that that 5 year warranty on.
In GM's case that is when the car breaks down. Either 100,000 miles or 5 years.

I have half a mind to walk into a GM sales shop and ask them what that protects and then tell them about all 5 GM/Chevy cars/vans I've owned/used and how they've always broken down right after that point.
Honda and Toyota puts a 3 year warranty on their car because their cars last 5 to 10 times that without seeing the inside of a mechanics garage.
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Old 02-10-07, 09:48 AM   #14
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Some interesting replies. I will add two things that are related more to the replies than my OP. After owning and loving several toyota vehicles, I decided to give GM another shot since I wanted a pickup and the toyota was about $1900 more at the time back in 98. ......That was the worst decision I've made regarding vehicles. Right after the warranty ran out (I think it was 3/30 at the time) all kinds of things began breaking. The gas gauge stopped working and they told me it was in the dash cluster. Too expensive to replace out of warranty, so I haven't had a working gas gauge since like 35,000 miles.The doors are crap...the hinges are falling apart, the fan clutch was replaced four times, two alternators, two clutches(the first when the salve cylinder which is inside the tranny went bad and leaked all over the clutch), Universal joints, A wiring harness, a rear axle bearing, and the engine has had a slow oil leak since about 50k. The truck has 105k on it and it's falling apart! My next vehicle will be a Toyota...no if, ands or buts about it. I'm going back to what served me so well for the better part of my life.

As for the add...it's the while ruckus being made by the suicide foundation that has me pissed off. Not that I'm such a fan of GM, their employment practices or their cars. The last good GM I had was my 72 z28 Camaro that I rebuilt from the ground up. Too bad that got llike 9 miles to the gallon! It was fun to drive though.
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