Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Passing the Buick.

Buick and GMC, two divisions of General Motors, have just shifted their advertising accounts from McCann and Lowe to Leo Burnett. This comes not long after Cadillac shifted its account from Leo to Modernista! (The exclamation point is in Modernista's! name, and it's so awful and pretentious, I feel obliged to include it.)

Somehow, this consolidation is supposed to "further unleash the power of the Buick-Pontiac-GMC channel and also support our efforts to create three strong, fully differentiated brands within this channel," said Jim Bunnell, general manager, Buick-Pontiac-GMC. Oh, puh-leeze. If anyone is minding the store at GM, they'd fire Jim Bunnell's golden-parachuted ass for such blather. "Unleash the power"? Come on. Buick's sales are down 27% since last year, and they are roughly 80% lower than they were a decade ago. I don't think there's any power here to be unleashed.

In addition to making a product that can't compete in a world market, Buick and GMC spend over $400 million on :30-second spots that I challenge anyone reading this blog to recall. That's a lot of money to shoot a bunch of cars on a wetted-down winding road.

There's got to be a better way to spend $400 million. And I have to believe that if Leo Burnett is going to succeed with these GM brands they had better do something different than what they did with Oldsmobile (defunct) and Cadillac (before they lost it.)

Unleash aweigh!

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