Thursday, November 29, 2007
GM North America Vice President Mark LaNeve contends that final decisions regarding “diversity agency” assignments on the automaker’s brands are still pending.
So it’s the perfect opportunity for GM to deliver on the “new approach to multicultural marketing” that a spokesperson hinted at recently.
Instead of reducing the involvement of multicultural shops and risking a consumer backlash, GM can do something completely groundbreaking: Appoint a multicultural shop as AOR.
Not AOR for the multicultural portion of an account. Rather, let a minority-owned shop assume the lead role.
There are plenty of over-qualified contenders available, some currently on GM’s roster and others not.
Let’s be blunt. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to produce for GM. Modernista has executed the standard celebrity-talking-head commercials for Cadillac with yawn-inducing results. Campbell-Ewald’s Malibu concept is the car advertising you can ignore. Leo Burnett’s work is so forgettable it’s impossible to even list the stuff. Surely any multicultural shop would have no difficulty matching or exceeding those efforts. Plus, their niche expertise would eliminate the need for additional agencies. There are cost efficiencies to be realized here, folks.
Think of the positive PR benefits. The advertiser who regularly displays lines like “An American Revolution” and “This Is Our Country” would be demonstrating their beliefs in a unique, unprecedented fashion. Talk about making good on LaNeve’s statement that “GM will fulfill our strategy to broaden our diversity agency representation.” Imagine how the innovative spirit might rub off on the vehicles’ personalities too. It’s a win-win for everybody.
The alternative is to continue treating multicultural shops like second-class citizens, disrespecting their abilities and hampering them with substandard budgets and resources. But let’s face it—there’s absolutely nothing new about that approach.