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What does public transportation and a one legged man have to do with GM’s reinvention?

So we all knew that GM was going to have to put out some kind of advertising to address their recent bankruptcy filing but I expected more than the stock video rip-o-matic we got. The voice over is what I expected but let’s take a minute and examine some of the imagery they have chosen represent their reinvention.

:15 – A Subway. So cheap public transportation is the plan to reinvent GM’s cars?

:16 – One legged man running. One of the most amazing people I have know in my life was a physically challenged athlete who shot archery with one arm. He was a real inspiration and those athletes deserve more than becoming the standby heavy handed visual for determination.

:25 – Injured hockey player. Not only is a disturbing visual but if you have ever watched any amount of hockey you know you will only see a player in this position after they have been hit by a puck or stick in the face.

:29 – Pittsburgh Steeler’s quarterback Ben Rothlisberger. I am a die-hard, bleed black and gold Steelers fan and this doesn’t make any sense to me. Ben is hardly the sports figure I would pick to represent reinvention.

:30 – A shredded American flag. There is no context as why the flag is so damaged or if it was from a storm or war. Like the hockey player player I don’t understand what such a dark image has to do with their reinvention.

:40 – Overused ‘green’ imagery. Can someone please find a way to show ‘green’ technology without the windmills and the solar panels?

Am I alone on this? Am I missing something here besides the heavy handed use of tired stereotypes? Let’s hope their business plan has more innovation and vision than their advertising.

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Creative Director, Designer, Brand Builder, Speaker, Podcaster, Crazy One. As a designer, I have 20+ years experience creating the strategy, concepts, and designs for award-winning integrated global advertising campaigns, building multiple global Fortune 500 brands and creating innovative digital experiences. As a leader, I have 15+ years transforming agency and client-side teams using a mix of creativity, business strategy, process and political skill to create innovative, world-class work and cultures that change industries and companies. My clients have included American Airlines, W Hotels, Disney, Citi, ExxonMobil, Acura, Old Navy, Nationwide Insurance, Verizon, Subaru and many others. My work has received over 150 international awards, my app designs have been named as one of the World’s 100 Greatest Apps, Apple has featured my work in 9 keynotes, 4 TV commercials and more.

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