Friday, October 23, 2009

Color Commentary

Designer turned marketer Chris Webb talks about how G.M. chooses colors for the Volt. It's basically a commercial for the internet age, but it's surprisingly interesting and offers a nice contrast with the yuppie extravagance of the Reagan-era Cadillac advertising I posted yesterday.

It did remind me a little of the color analyst scene in Roger & Me. And the part where Webb explains how G.M. uses three layers of color instead of two was somewhat reminiscent of the famous amp scene in Spinal Tap. (watch below)

All kidding aside, it seems like G.M. is finally figuring out how to market a car to a wider, more diverse group of consumers. (And no, G.M. did not pay me to say that.)

If you want a chance to fly to L.A. and test drive a pre-production Volt, go here to enter the Chevy color contest to name the strange green planned for some of the Volts. (Are they too broke to actually give a car away in the contest, as I mistakenly posted earlier? Apparently so.) Alas, there are no plans to re-introduce the "Bamboo Cream" of my grandma's Buick Electra.

UPDATE: If you scroll toward the bottom of this page, you can see some of the names people have submitted. And as some of the comments indicate, figuring out how to actually enter this contest is a real challenge. Perhaps I was a bit premature in declaring that G.M. has improved at the marketing game.


  1. GM employees, spouses, parents, children or siblings are not eligible to win the color contest, so that rules out this blog's base.

    I do feel much better that color has taken a front seat. All my life when asked what kind of car someone had, I would only be able to tell you the color. Many scoffs were made because I didn't know models/makes in Buick Town. Nice to know it's all about the color now. ;p

  2. Just where does it say the winner gets anything other than a free trip to LA and "maybe" the opportunity to test drive a pre-production Volt?

  3. Oops, my bad. It is just a test drive. Not quite as enticing, is it? I amended the original post. Thanks for the catch.

  4. GM is not out of the woods by any means. Chrysler is a dead company walking. Ford is going to be the number one domestic company soon. GM is the real question.

    GM blew it when they lost even more market share and gave the executives a bonus for not losing even more market share. That was a sign that they just don't get it.

    I grew up in Flint and have worked in the automotive industry for decades now. The management team in place at GM is the same group that got GM in this mess. Most people feel they're incapable of changing the company.


  5. It looks like so much thought goes into it.There was a story that in the 60s the wife of a GM exec was dining at the Doral Country Club and thought the color of the ash trays would make a pretty car color.Thus we had Doral Green in the mid 60s.


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