Don't Take Our Word For It.

It’s a true sight to see what somebody will do when they’re on top one minute and then in the dumps soon thereafter. Although this story is going to revolve around cars, let me start out with an example of the above from today’s Olympic results. In today’s men’s cross-country Frode Estil, the reigning Olympic champion from Norway, took a nasty fall at the beginning of the 30 kilometer pursuit. This resulted in a broken ski and a fall from the front of the pack to last place. However, after that horrible course of events, Frode finished with a silver metal in one of the best stories of Olympic spirit.

Now I can’t say that the General Motors family of companies have had the same return to grace after their fall, but they’ve certainly been trying. After the debacle that was the “red tag pricing” stint, the former “big three” have finally come to terms with their futures in the industry. In that, they’ve started changing their advertising, specialization and selling tactics. While Ford is trying to put your life in drive, GM is tooting their “Live Green Go Yellow” commercials and a new “see for yourself” advertising campaign. Now I started seeing these commercials about a week ago, and two I’d like to mention are the new GMC Envoy and Pontiac G6 advertisements.

The GMC Envoy clip had a lot of the usual “we’re better than Toyota” talk, but ended with something along the lines of “see for yourself at Kelly Blue Book (kbb.com).” This is as they were about to say, “don’t take our propaganda-filled words for it, take the word of somebody you should trust.” Likewise, on some of GM’s brands (specifically Pontiac, GMC and Buick) they proclaim the same message as you enter, to compare the differences for yourself using Kelly Blue Book. In probably the most noticeable move, at the end of a new Pontiac G6 commercial, they use Google as a verb. “Don’t take our word for it, google Pontiac and discover for yourself.”

Maybe this is a trend, or maybe not. Maybe it’s something that we can emulate. Even though I already have my own opinions about cars (although the Solstice isn’t that bad), it’s nice to see that the big American companies are a bit more willing to let the buyer think for themselves. Think of it, companies like 37signals have this plastered all over the front page of their product site. Pages full of testimonials, trials and reviews - asking the customer to look for themselves if they’re a bit skeptical. It’s not anything new, but in my view it’s something missing. With so many companies seemingly full of themselves, it’s relaxing to know that some businesses still give the customer the benefit of the doubt.