DETROIT -- The attempted reinvention of General Motors image begins this week.
After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection early today, the 100-year-old automaker is planning to launch a multimedia ad campaign later this week to tell the public that its staying in business.
Well break an ad campaign that is very transparent, that were not the first company to go through this. Were going to reinvent ourselves, said Mark LaNeve, vice president of GM sales, service and marketing. Well be advertising that were open for business.
But the theme of the blitz is aptly named reinvention and includes a Web site, GMreinvention.com. The site includes updated news on GMs bankruptcy proceedings along with information on warranties, parts and service.
The automaker already posted the 60-second spot online, including on YouTube and Facebook, shortly after it filed for bankruptcy protection this morning.
"Let's be completely honest: No company wants to go through this," says the spot, from Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch, Los Angeles.
"But we're not witnessing the end of the American car; we're witnessing the rebirth of the American car. General Motors needs to start over in order to get stronger. There was a time when eight different brands made sense. Not anymore. There was a time when our cost structure could compete worldwide. Not anymore. Reinvention is the only way we can fix this, and fix it we will."
The ad goes on to tell consumers that the new GM will have fewer models and more efficiencies. For a 60-second spot, it's pretty heavy on the cliches, which include "leaner, greener, faster, smarter" and "This is not about going out of business; this is about getting down to business."
The buy includes several national broadcast TV networks, national and local radio, and inserts in national newspapers and papers in key local markets, a GM spokeswoman told Advertising Age, an affiliate of Automotive News.
"We felt that some TV and print ads were necessary to communicate, in mass, to our customers, in a quick and timely manner," the spokeswoman said.
GM also is sending a letter from CEO Fritz Henderson to customers that includes a loyalty offer, LaNeve said.
Meanwhile, LaNeve said GM will continue plans to advertise the new Buick LaCrosse sedan in mid-June. Ads for the redesigned Chevy Equinox and the Cadillac SRX crossovers will launch on time in August, he said.
LaNeve said GM should now see the first benefits of its brand consolidation efforts.
He said: One of the great things about the new company is with four brands, we can really have a great product cadence and adequate marketing money to put toward the brands.
Jean Halliday of Advertising Age contributed to this report