November 26, 2010

The General Motors Thanksgiving Gamble

Once the turkey went in the oven on Thanksgiving morning, it was time to gather around the TV to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Sandwiched between the giant balloons and marching bands was a special commercial message from General Motors.

In case you didn’t see the one minute Thanksgiving ad from GM, here it is.

The images are powerful. The music is emotional. The spot grabs your attention. The choices to illustrate failure run from serious with NASA and Evel Knievel to humorous with Popeye and Animal House. GM says on its website the commercial is the company’s way of “saying thanks to the American people” after the government provided financial assistance to keep GM afloat.

If only saying thank you were simple. Not for GM. The company took a significant risk by bringing up a delicate political subject.

Response from viewers on two websites dedicated to GM ( and is divided into two camps. One side suggested it was a good idea for GM to thank American taxpayers and that the ad struck the appropriate tone. Others were angered by the ad and thought it would backfire by reminding people of the government bailout of GM.

What do you think?
Should GM have produced a commercial like this?

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