Start Up Blog

Holden Market Exit – Badvertising

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on December 28, 2013

With the recent news that Holden (General Motors Car Division in Australia) are exiting the practice of local manufacturing, there has been a lot of political commentary on the issue. Clearly it is sad for those who will need to find new employment. In light of the negative sentiment for the brand, Holden decided to run an advertising campaign to allay fears. The claim being that while they will no longer make cars in Australia, they will continue to make cars for Australia. It can be seen below:

There has been significant backlash. This is predictable conglomerate behaviour….  quick, quick, run an advertisement to make it all ok. But the truth is this is a total waste of money. It’s simple really:

The people who don’t care about the manufacturing exit, don’t need to hear it. The people who are upset about the exit, are unable to be assuaged by the campaign. It’s a zero sum game. 

This is one of those occasions where no amount of advertising will change the minds of those who are disappointed, and possibly infuriate them. Sometimes the best form of marketing is knowing when to keep quiet.

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3 Responses

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  1. Darran sexton said, on December 28, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Totally agree Steve!
    Sometimes not saying anything is best!!

  2. Chris Peters said, on December 29, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    And these more, Holdens head of marketing asked all the staff to add the tag line “we’re here to stay” on their email signatures…. Seriously! What a muppet… The brand might remain in Australia but thousands of people will be looking for jobs else where.

  3. Clinton Burchat said, on January 27, 2014 at 10:20 am

    I heard a funny thing the other day. Apparently when Ford said it was going to stop manufacturing in Australia some people were refusing to buy Fords anymore because they believed that Fords would no longer be available in Australia and they would not be able to get parts or servicing for them… Strange.

    I like to think that this is a small minority that thought like this.


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