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General Motors reintroduces GM June 6, 2009

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Seeking to reestablish its brand after an embarrassing bankruptcy, GM is looking to reach out to Americans through a new advertising campaign. Though GM’s ad budget looks to be far lower than the $2.2 billion the company spent last year, it is using spots during prime-time shows and the NBA Finals to address its ongoing crisis. Its first major advertisement, though, is getting mixed reviews. One critic from the New York Times, for example, argued that the company’s effort to be honest with the public goes a long way, but the imagery in the commercial seems too generic. Others also praise the straight talk, but worry that it is another hollow promise from a company struggling to survive.

To see the first ad from this campaign, watch the video below:

Discussion Questions:

1.  What is the tone of the advertisement above, and how is it so different from previous GM ads?

2.  Was the purpose of the ad to simply reintroduce GM?  What else might have the company intended to convey with this new commercial?

3.  What was the nature of the images in the advertisement?  Were they really generic, or were they meant to associate GM to something important to its audience?  In other words, what was the purpose of the visual rhetoric in the ad?

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