The Sunday Times Driving Placeholder

Test your knowledge: What car company's misjudged Super Bowl advert featured a depressed robot?

A film without a happy ending


GM Superbowl Robot advert commercial

THIS SUNDAY Super Bowl 50 descends on California. With it, a stream of adverts will be beamed at spectators in the Levi’s stadium in Santa Clara, near San Francisco, and more than 100m television viewers in America.


Browse NEW or USED cars for sale on driving.co.uk


We’ve brought together videos of all the best car ads here. They include some pretty wacky ideas, but none of them approaches the faux pas committed in 2007 by one of America’s giant car makers.

The ad, about a production-line robot that makes a mistake, provoked anger and calls for the ending to be changed.

Why, and what car company was it? Scroll down for the answer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep scrolling …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was General Motors that unwittingly hit the headlines in 2007. Mark LaNeve, its sales and marketing chief at the time, said the ad was meant to “display our obsession with quality that allows us to offer the best warranty in the industry”. Unfortunately for LaNeve and GM, the film didn’t have a Hollywood-style happy ending.

The robot, which is working on a GM assembly line, drops a screw, holding up the production line. It loses its job, and we see the despondent robot jump off a bridge.

Then the viewer is shown that it was all a nightmare, and the robot was, presumably, daydreaming on the production line. The tagline was: “The GM 100,000-mile warranty. It’s got everyone at GM obsessed with quality.”

Suicide prevention groups didn’t see the funny side. GM edited the ad, and public attention returned to the Super Bowl, rather than a depressed robot and a grovelling car maker.

 


Browse NEW or USED cars for sale on driving.co.uk