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A Cute Pink Slip?

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Which Super Bowl ad was most memorable? I vote for the General Motors "Robot" ad.

The ad serves up an unintended (I'm assuming, here) reminder of the Big Three's struggles of late. While working the assembly line, a yellow robot drops a bolt, a fumble that brings the humming line to an uncomfortable silence. The robot gets canned. The robot — supposedly cute and sad — wanders the streets, looking for work. It even tries to sell real estate, but that's obviously not a job anyone would want these days. GM cars race past, a reminder of that bolt. More menial jobs follow. Near the end — the commercial's and possibly the robot's — we see it standing on the rail of a bridge. More GM models drive past and, in its sorrow, the robot tumbles to'¶oh wait, it was just a dream! The robot wakes from its slumber safe and sound in a GM factory. Apparently, the spot was meant to convey GM's commitment to quality, according to The Detroit News. Drop one thing, and you're out.

But considering that in November 2005 GM announced plans to layoff 30,000 hourly workers, the ad feels a lot more grim than cute. As much as anything, the spot appeared to be the sad story of a former GM employee dreaming of jumping from a bridge. Did GM really do that? Did it serve up a reminder of shrinking market share and unemployed workers? (Watch for yourself here.)

The Detroit News also pointed out that the robot is going to be part of a major branding effort by GM. Do you think the robot will survive its ignominious launch?

Last updated: Feb 5, 2007




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