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CHRISSIE THOMPSON

Ewanick starts next week. What's going to change?

Chrissie Thompson covers General Motors for Automotive News
When GM's incoming U.S. marketing chief starts his new job next week, how much will he change?

GM said last week it had hired Joel Ewanick, of Hyundai fame, away from Nissan North America, where he had worked since March.

Ewanick is the fourth head of marketing at GM in a year, following Mark LaNeve, Bob Lutz and Susan Docherty. He joins GM after several months of marketing-message upheaval.

For instance, in the last couple of weeks alone, both Cadillac and Chevrolet have launched new taglines and marketing campaigns with new ad agencies. And Buick got a new slogan in September after scrapping one that launched in June.

Consistency in message is important for marketing, right? But if the new campaigns aren't good enough, as industry observers have suggested in the case of Chevrolet's "Excellence for All" tagline, will Ewanick change them?

We'll find out soon. But at least in the case of Cadillac, head marketer Don Butler thinks the new "Mark of Leadership" campaign is safe.

"The last thing you want to do is start rocking and shaking and just kind of moving things around for the sake of moving things around," Butler told me last week. "I would imagine, given the success that he's had, he's going to take time to listen and understand."

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