In a previous post I mentioned how the “phone guy,” the new chairman of General Motors, was not a good spokesperson for McCann-Erickson’s TV spot announcing the GM guarantee.
In the spot, Chairman Whitacre strolls through a GM building explaining the guarantee in a very predictable execution. Much more powerful in my opinion would have been to use a line worker (not 15 of them, mind you) to explain how GM got into the mess and what it was doing to crawl out. The spot would act as a mea culpa to the country…and if well written, would contain drama, pathos, slice-of-life and presumable a heartfelt plea for a second chance. America loves an underdog and would be more likely to help a company filled with line workers than Bloomfield Hills suits. Think of it as GM’s Joe The Plumber in a shiny new car.
I don’t need to see chrome filled R&D labs, newly shaped fenders on smaller cars and upbeat music to tell me things are getting better. In tough times, it’s okay to be human. Out of tough times come great stories. Great turnarounds. Great ness. GM needed to humanize what it hath wrought, it needn’t try to sell us with business as usual. Peace!