Chickens Now Roosting in Auburn Hills, MI


It had to happen. Chrysler was going to pay its dues for the “Thank You, America” ad, the auto industry’s biggest bonehead PR play since the corporate jet fiasco.

Car bloggers and others have been mouthing their outrage over the company’s “thanks for your investment” of bailout funds. The Chrysler blog has 241 reported comments on the ad, most like this:

Mr. Nardelli,

It takes a man with a whole lotta chutzpah to thank a person for investing in a company when they had zero voice in the matter.

My elected representatives decided ‘no’. The executive branch decided ‘yes’ through means that might be legal but frankly smell like rotten fish.

You may certainly get my money this way, but you will never see a dime of my money voluntarily spent on any of your products.

Brian Dunbar

Conservatives (and lots of others) are really steamed. Here’s what one of them did in a takeoff on the ad. Chrysler ran its full-page ads in USA Today and the Wall Street Journal, “where prices for placement of a full-page ad can range between USD $206,000 – $264,000 and $112,000 and $217,000 respectively.”

You’ve got to be more than a little brain-dead (i.e., captive to the industry’s traditional corporate thinking and fossilized marketing) to produce costly print ads with a message like this.

As you might expect, big ad budget cuts are coming for both carmakers and dealers. For an industry that went overboard on TV last year, it’s time to come back to reality, says Advertising Age.

Promising better return on investment, GM will slash $600 million from U.S. advertising and promotions in the next four years to just $2.6 billion from $3.2 billion in 2008. It has not publicized its plans to accomplish this, though the automaker has cut out a number of high-profile events such as the Super Bowl.

Other carmakers are following suit, among them Toyota, Kia and VW, putting their efforts online and into videos, moving away from print and TV. Sports events will probably feature fewer macho truck ad interruptions.

The industry seems to be finally discovering the Internet. Whether it will be able to successfully negotiate that medium any better than it has print and TV remains to be seen. We hope the results for 2009 will be better than what we saw in 2008.

What about a “Thank you, Chrysler” ad? What do you think that should say?



  1. Your a liar Travis. No, Chrysler didn’t spend $200,000 of our money on an ad and no, they don’t even have a private jet, and when they did, it was for security purposes. You still don’t get it, your dumb

  2. People don’t realize the Chrysler ad was published the day after Congress made their decision, which means Chrysler made the advertisement and booked the ad placement weeks in advance. In fact, the money Chrysler spent on this ad didn’t involve ANY tax payer money. Even if it did, they spent less than 1% of their government loan in which they are obligated to pay back with interest. So what’s the big deal?

  3. Wait a minute… so Chrysler spent $200K of our taxpayer money to thank us for loaning them the money that most of us didn’t want to give them?
    They still don’t get it do they; why not fly their CEO on a private jet to every American home and thank us in person?

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