Entering the fray: GM’s Facebook advertising

Jack Blog

May 17th, 2012 By Jack Morton

I couldn’t disagree more with an article out on AdAge.com today critiquing GM’s decision to pull its Facebook ads » http://bit.ly/Jzwn3k. The criticism in a nutshell is that it’s generally backward-looking and represents an unwillingness to invest in building long-term relationships with potential customers on critical social media platform.

As I see it (and this is very much a personal view), what really matters to GM is to ensure that its vehicles are in consumers’ consideration set. If GM says people don’t do that as a result of Facebook ads, why spend any amount on them? Especially when their brands do a great job of creating experiences that generate social media organically?

For example, GM’s Chevy did a brilliant job at SXSW with its “Catch A Chevy” initiative, which offered free rides to thousands of attendees—hipsters who probably wouldn’t have put Chevy in their consideration set with as a result of seeing a Facebook ad, but who likely now have as a result of trying the car in this “no-sell” environment. Simultaneously, Chevy’s presence at SXSW led to a massive visibility across social media channels—making it one of the most talked-about brands online at this hyper-social event.

So, GM might not be advertising on Facebook, but its brands are creating experiences that generate social media—and put people where they do make buying decisions: behind the wheel.