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Oprah_Show_Car.jpgI haven’t owned a car in 20 years, so billions spent on car ads mean nothing to me. But The Oprah Winfrey Show sure got my attention yesterday by giving each of her 276 audience members a new car in the longest GM ad in history.
It’s easy to see why GM would think it was worthwhile to give away $7 million worth of cars on Oprah to get the hundreds of millions worth of free publicity the stunt generated. It was, The Daily News reports, “believed to be the largest mass giveaway ever on TV.” And it proves that PR still trumps advertising.
The giveaway was on every network’s evening news, made the front page of The NY Daily News, and was the talk of many a town last night. The Oprah Show site gushes about it and runs a ton of free advertising and PR for GM.
Said The Washington Post, “Oprah Winfrey made the wildest dreams of General Motors come true yesterday when she devoted the entire first half of her syndicated talk show’s highly anticipated 19th-season debut to GM’s new Pontiac G6 sedan.”
The GM Website has a video of the Oprah Show giveaway, and a chance for those who were not in Oprah’s audience to win the same car. Multi-media campaign integration would be better yet if the GM homepage linked to the giveaway story.
Now advertising guys, take a look at the way you sell cars. Cars aren’t feel good items. We risk our lives in them on highways, we cart our children around in them, we count on them to get where we need to go. And we spend freaking $30,000-plus on them.
Time for car companies to wake up and stop inhaling gas fumes. You want to sell cars, you relate them to ordinary people’s lives, like Oprah did. Then people look, listen, and buzz. And they buy your car.