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The “Reinvention” of GM

When the country has been buzzing with the horrors of a failing economy for months, how do you look forward? What if your company has been forced to file bankruptcy and is in an industry that is slowly crumbling? If you are General Motors, you look inside for change and try to evoke a positive, hopeful spirit.

After filing bankrupcty in early June 2009, GM launched its “Reinvention” campaign. GM with links to the GM Twitter and Facebook accounts along with information about the bankrupcty status and new GM products and warranties.

The site also includes a “Tell Fritz” section that allows consumers to ask questions directly to CEO Fritz Henderson.

To me, the most impressive component of this campaign is the Reinvention Commercial, a powerful spot detailing the future of GM: “It’s not about going out of business, it’s about getting down to business.”

With this ad, GM admits to the public that they are in a serious bind. The ad even states that “no company wants to go through this.” But by displaying what they plan to do with their company and how they are going to re-vamp it for today’s markets, it opens GM up to positive change and a hopeful future.

The Reinvention Commercial definitely caught the attention of the public; however, not all attention was positive. Several blogs thought the ad was strange and didn’t like the fact that GM needed the government to help them out of bankruptcy. Despite some negative reactions, GM’s approval ratings increased after the ad started running.

On July 10, 2009, GM did what many people thought to be impossible: they came out of bankruptcy. Originally, they had planned to take 90 days to restructure in bankruptcy, but it only took them 40.

Although the government now owns 60 percent of GM, there are hopes that it will become a publicly traded company again. The New GM will be “leaner, greener, faster, smarter.” Its newest product, the2010 Chevrolet Camaro is selling well across the company, despite the economic decline.

To me, this campaign is one of the most radical movements by a company after the economic meltdown. GM’s innovative movement featuring the commercial spot, Web site and social media marketing has set the standard for a new approach to crisis management. While the future of GM is uncertain, it’s clear that they are taking a step in the right direction of change.

by Cara Cramer


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