Patrick Grieve
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GMC Creates YouTube Ads That Shamelessly Target Popular Search Terms

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GMC Acadia commercial Pets shows dog using hands free liftgate

Interesting disclaimer

There’s a new trend in automotive advertising, and it’s called self-awareness.

For example, Chevy recently created a commercial in which a focus group composed of hipster Millennials is asked to give their opinion on advertising that panders to hipster Millennials (they felt patronized). Similarly, Quaker State has teamed up with satire site The Onion for a series of videos that parody “gimmicky” marketing techniques, arguing that their product is simply “damn good oil.”

It’s all very postmodern, and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it.

And now GMC is taking the whole “meta” thing one step further, with YouTube ads that explicitly target popular search terms. Like, in this case, “Music”:

“Precisely put, GMC has an Acadia for every driver,” the unnamed brand spokesman says at the beginning of the video. He then blows into a pitch pipe, before declaring, “And now, that music you searched for…”

After that, we’re treated to some brief a cappella singing.

All of the ads follow this same basic formula—a quick plug for a GMC vehicle, followed by a little skit related to the topic at hand.

This one combines the GMC Sierra with “News”:

Truck Stuff: The top five reasons to consider buying a truck 

Another ad entitled “Pets,” again for the GMC Acadia, is perhaps the most Internet-friendly, considering it features cute animals wearing clothes (although, that pig’s weird, sexual-seeming leather outfit feels a bit more creepy than cute):

The final commercial, “Travel,” specifically promotes the GMC Canyon’s 4G Wi-Fi hotspot (and, to a lesser extent, the city of Sydney, Australia):

Truck Stuff: Check out these helpful towing terms for truck buyers 

It’s a clever and definitely timely marketing strategy, but only time will tell if it pays off. If they REALLY want to attract attention, I can think of some video search terms that are probably even more popular, though they might not be entirely appropriate for selling pickup trucks…

  • Patrick GrieveEditor

    Patrick Grieve was born in Southwestern Ohio and has lived there all of his life, with the exception of a few years spent getting a Creative Writing degree in Southeastern Ohio. He loves to take road trips, sometimes to places as distant as Northeastern or even Northwestern Ohio. Patrick also enjoys old movies, shopping at thrift stores, going to ballgames, writing about those things, and watching Law & Order reruns. He just watches the original series, though, none of the spin-offs. And also only the ones they made before Jerry Orbach died. Season five was really the peak, in his opinion. See more articles by Patrick.