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I saw this article posted on another forum:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5989964/

and the more I read and thought about it, the more ticked I got.

At first I though, "wow".

But then I saw the bit that the cars [and customization and TAXES!!!] are donated and paid for by....


Pontiac.

WTFIT?!?!?!?

Oprah didn't "give away" anything but somebody else's cars.

How many Pontiacs are built each year? Three quarter million?

Each of these cars COST GM somewhere around $20,000? This dumb stunt just cost GM about $7.75 ON EVERY PONTIAC SOLD THIS YEAR!!!

At the very least, they should have divulged where the cars came from, or had Maximum Bob come on the show and give 'em away, or maybe even the big marketing cheese from GM (whose dumb idea it probably was). Or at least some sort of pontiac press release.

Instead, Oprah looks like a saint, GM gets a smidgen of publicity that will evaporate in the next week, and it cost them $5.5M.

If this were never done, there would have been ZERO impact on Pontiac sales.

And this is at a time where we get talk from GM like this:
http://yahoo.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml...storyID=6200221

Rick's "fine toothed comb" is missing several hundred (maybe 5.5M) teeth...

I think $7.75 spent on each Pontiac built to improve quality would have been MUCH better spent. Those marketing guys really aren't known for their brains. It's all about the soundbyte.
 

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I could be wrong here, lord knows I usually am, but I'm thinking Pontiac had to get something out of this other than just being prominantly displayed on this one show. It probably cost millions to be a major sponsor for a season on Oprah's show anyway, so I'm thinking the cars were in lieu of cash for advertising on the show. I don't watch the show, or plan to (since I'm not gay), but I would hope Pontiac gets lots of commercials for the rest of the season. If that's the case, then Pontiac is just spending money that was already in their advertising budget, and in a weird way, Oprah really is giving them away, as she is giving away part of her advertising revenue.

Or I'm totally wrong and don't know what the hell I'm talking about. :smile
 

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Plus Oprah's show is apparently one of the greatest marketing spots ever. If you're lucky enough to get something you've done or written on her show your garuanteed to see the $$$ signs.

I'm betting like AztekzRpurty said, they're getting something in return for this. For starters like I said air time on Oprah's show, a reduction on commercial airtime during her time slot, publicity in her magazines, etc.
 

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I guess it's just another way of advertising and TV ads are very expensive.

I don't know what ads cost in network prime time but using Super Bowl as the extreme example (2 mil for 30 sec spot?) I would assume a "normal" prime time commercial campaign lasting for several months must cost 10s of millions of dollars?

In this case they consolidated it in 1 hour but propbably got mentioned dozens of times in that hour? Plus all the newspaper, TV, web news coverage on it afterwards.
 

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The cost of the cars is very little compared to the total advertising budget for GM.

I think studies have shown that traditional advertising is becoming less and less effective, and automotive companies have to use new techniques to become noticed in the crowded marketplace.
 

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i'd bet that not too many women are subscribing to 'road and track' or 'car and driver'. if about half of the drivers out there are female, exposure on OPRAH is going to generate sales for the G6 and help build the Pontiac brand among a big population of car buyers. pesonally, i'm getting ready to write OPRAH a mid life crisis letter....maybe she'll give me a Solstice on her fall premier(sp?) next year.
 

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hmm, maybe NEXT year would be the right time to get tickets for Oprah's first show of the new season, especially if this works well for Pontiac. I mean, what better way to showcase a brand new model, huh? :yesnod

BTW, Aztek: Are you homophobic or something? ["I don't watch the show, or plan to (since I'm not gay)" ... ]. I'd like NOT to see that kind of crap in this forum - it's been great so far, let's not spoil it!
 

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I've never watched Oprah, but I keep hearing about this everywhere I turn, so I'd say that was some pretty good advertising.
 

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cdb said:
... pesonally, i'm getting ready to write OPRAH a mid life crisis letter....maybe she'll give me a Solstice on her fall premiere next year.
:agree I'll jump on THAT bandwagon! Great idea, cdb! :cheers
 

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SolsticeWaiting said:
BTW, Aztek: Are you homophobic or something? ["I don't watch the show, or plan to (since I'm not gay)" ... ]. I'd like NOT to see that kind of crap in this forum - it's been great so far, let's not spoil it!
I think he was using it as a description, and wasn't being homophobic. It's primarily a womens show targeted to feminine issues and needs, therefore most men who would watch the show possibly would tend to be homosexual. So he was refering to that he would watch it if he was homosexual, but not being homosexual he doesn't watch it. He did not say anything bad about homosexuals, or anything bad about them watching Oprah either. Therefore I do not think there's a need to turn around and use profanity in an assumption as you did. Next time plainly ask him if he's being homophobic, if he says yes, then the use profanity might be warranted. Or you know the Private Message system works great too, so as not to knock a topic off track as this surely will.
 

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I believe his inference was that people who are males that watch the show are gay. I think that speaks for its self as to what he was saying. :seeya
 

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Here's the GM official [LINK] about this.

Your answer to this entire thing is right here...
"The Oprah Winfrey Show" has remained the number one talk show for 18 consecutive seasons, winning every sweep since its debut in 1986.* It is produced in Chicago by Harpo Productions, Inc. and syndicated to 212 domestic markets and 109 countries by King World.
 

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I think it was a good marketing tactic for GM. It cost them a good penny for the cars, but they are getting a lot of free advertising out of it. Not only did they hit everybody who watched Oprah;s show yesterday, but this event has hit the mainstream news. News stories about the Pontiac giveaway have been running on local and national news outlets all morning, and have also been in many papers including USA today. GM has just gotten the word out on the new G6 to way more people than any traditional commercial would, and they have done it in a way that has attracted a ton of attention for them. Most traditional advertising campaigns do not attract attention, and certainly do not get people talking about them like this event has. Plus it gives the car a positive image by association with a positive event.

It was a great way to introduce a new car with a new name to the public IMO. My only fear if I was Pontiac would be that it will be seen as a chic car, but for the 4 door maybe that is not so bad. Grand Am sales may have been skewed towards women anyway.
 

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brentil said:
... He did not say anything bad about homosexuals, or anything bad about them watching Oprah either. Therefore I do not think there's a need to turn around and use profanity in an assumption as you did.
I understand how the word "gay" is used by many people in the 10-30 age range these days. I believe that it has its roots in a derogitory remark and has morphed into something different, as I discovered several years ago when I asked my youngest son (then 11) if he knew what "gay" meant and he said "stupid, silly, bad." I simply don't like that use of the word because it leads toward too many misinterpretations. On the other hand ... profanity!? What profanity? If the word "crap" is profanity to you, what 1950s rock did you just crawl out from under?
 

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I wasn't going to say anything, but...

I think we are getting a little thick skinned in this thread. I doubt the term was used initially to be offensive, and I doubt the response with the so-called profanity also was not used to be offensive.

I'd personally prefer not to see either in any thread on the forum, but I also do not see them as a major problem, and certainly nothing worth causing a flame war over.

Maybe we could all agree to disagree on how offensive each word was in the thread, and just try to be more sensitive to how we use them here in the future to avoid future problems. :smile

This has been a fun board so far! Lets keep it that way! :thumbs
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Back to the topic,

I posted this on gminsidenews.com, and apparently I am in the minority. Something about the spin of this is, or should be, insulting to those women and men who are busting their butts at GM, making great cars and trucks (like the solstice and the satkap, or the G6), listening to how tough times are, how they have to tighten their belts, how their raises must be postponed by months and limited to 3% or less because of how financially tight things are...

One of Oprah's "needy" audience members absolutely HAD to replace her (get this, now) 3-year old dodge intrepid.

Say HWHAAAATTT?

I know dodges are not known for their reliability, but many of my friends at GM and other automakers are driving 6, 7, even 10 year old cars to work everyday.

Anyways, here's what I posted there, it's as applicable here:

solsticeman said:
...Tying it together:

Despite all the potential negative connotations, I concede there is a tremendous amount of "exposure".

I had a friend who told me once: "just remember, there's no such thing as negative exposure, there's just exposure."

It got us talking. Six pages and counting.

Whether the risk is worth the reward has yet to be seen. How many people will now at least go into a Pontiac dealership, or test drive a G6, or at least consider it because of some feature they saw on Oprah? Who knows.

My main two counterarguements are related to:

first, the financial (in the wake of extreme cost cutting at GM, and articles showing GM spends less on R&D than it's competitors) justification of such a marketing move, and

second, my own, as explained before, personal bias toward falsehood and spin, and especially toward the false front and chameleon-like nature of Oprah and her circle of friends. Supporters of her (I know many, some that tape and watch it daily, etc.) support her with a zeal I have not seen since, as stated before, my involvement in cult-like multilevel marketing. She can do NO wrong, what she says is ALWAYS right, and since she's rich and powerful, this is self-fulfillment of that assumption.

I have many friends, engineers, marketing, communications, and others at GM. Some think this is very smart marketing (considering wasting $15M on superbowl advertising annually with virtually no provable increase in attention to GM cars and trucks).

Many, the majority of which are front-line engineers, are a little pissed because of the story spin doublespeak. These engineers are, year over year, being told there is less money for travel (even critical travel to accomplish job functions), part improvements, profit sharing/merit, and even are given crap when purchasing something as basic as a $350 helmet for testing. Then GM just gives away 276 Pontiacs like they are peanuts.

Summing it up:

-the G6 got some exposure, and some advertising. It's a positive thing IF it generates sales or at least showroom eyeballs
-Oprah gets GREAT exposure. This can be positive or negative, depending on your viewpoint, but Oprah got a Sh*tload of free publicity, complements of GM.
-This cost GM around $6M. (the loaded G6's retail for $7.8M, direct cost can be estimated at around 75%-80%). This can be thought of as expense, but it is definitely not charity - so it is not a direct writeoff.
-There may be some additional promotional items forthcoming in "behind the scenes deals" made as a result of the giveaway, which effectively reduces the cost of the deal.

The question is:

Did the $6M (or $4.5 with other deals) generate more than $6M in revenue for GM (i.e. not for Oprah, Harpo studios, etc.)?

The next question, for us scientists, is:

When will this effect be noticeable? 3rd Quarter 2004? 2nd Quarter 2005? Ever?

If the answer to these is "yes" and "soon", then this is brilliant marketing. If the answer to question one is "no", or the answer to question 2 is "this is something that can't be measured, but it's great exposure", then it's a stunt.
As for the homophobic vs. profanity discussion, please start another thread and discuss it there...

And for those who are wondering if Oprah will give away Solstices next year, remember that 90% of her audience is female, 100% of the first Solstices are manuals - and before the females jump down my throat - the simple fact is that 87% of females will not drive manuals either due to personal preference or ability limitations.
 

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Fformula88 said:
I wasn't going to say anything, but...

I think we are getting a little thick skinned in this thread. I doubt the term was used initially to be offensive, and I doubt the response with the so-called profanity also was not used to be offensive.

I'd personally prefer not to see either in any thread on the forum, but I also do not see them as a major problem, and certainly nothing worth causing a flame war over.

Maybe we could all agree to disagree on how offensive each word was in the thread, and just try to be more sensitive to how we use them here in the future to avoid future problems. :smile

This has been a fun board so far! Lets keep it that way! :thumbs
Ok, I give up. I was mainly just trying to be sarcastic about it to point out the silliness, but it appears it was about to start a flame war. So I'll drop it. And I was getting all riled up too.

Yellatec said:
Nothin' "gay" about that! :lol :cheers :leaving
BUhahahaha careful Yellatec, going to get yourself in trouble. :jester
 
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