GM is so inept it can’t even sell a Hummer

It took some time but Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machines Co. finally realized what a bad idea buying Hummer would be. Yesterday the Chinese company announced it was pulling its offer to purchase the brand. From the start, the attempt to dump Hummer has been another testament to the company’s ineptitude. GM began trying to sucker someone into paying for the brand in June of 2008 – when gas was averaging $4.10 a gallon.

The Hummer’s greatest success may be as a metaphor for the past decade. It was a bloated, self-indulgent vehicle with no purpose other than to say, “Look how much debt I can take on just to show off how much debt I can take on.”* It proclaimed a belief that markets never go bad, in this case that gas will always be cheap. However it isn’t much of a stretch to say a similar belief permeated the minds who thought real estate could only gain in value.

The Atlantic is floating the scary idea that Hummer may not yet be dead and that someone may yet come along and revive the monster. Get the pitchforks and torches! Let us storm the castle and cut off the beast’s head and drive a stake through its transmission! For capitalism’s sake, follow me!

logo_hummer1

See also Hummer, slang meaning of.

*I know there are farmers and others who actually used the damn thing for work purposes, they are exempt from this metaphor.

Top 10 Marketing Blunders of 2008

Yeah, there’s a lot more than 10 here. What can I say? It was a very good year for very bad things.

(PS: If you liked this would you mind going here and voting for it on Digg?)

GRAND PRIZE FOR SUSTAINED ORGANIZATIONAL EFFORT

(tie)

The John McCain Presidential Campaign

  • “Our economy, I think, is still — the fundamentals of our economy are strong.”
  • Has no idea how many houses he (or his wife) owns.
  • Picks Sara Palin, the Broad to Nowhere who couldn’t find Russia or Africa on a map.
  • Campaign adviser and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina says Palin couldn’t run a major corporation.
  • Campaign adviser and former senator Phil Gramm says Americans are whiners about economic problems.
  • “Shutting down” his campaign to fix the bailout.
  • “Lipstick on a pig”
  • Egregious attack on Dungeons & Dragons that clearly cost him the election. (OK, maybe not so much the last one).

GM

Runners Up

  1. Ford features “Space Oddity” — a song about astronaut suicide — in new car campaign.
  2. Framingham State College  uses the word blah 137 times in a 312-word fundraising letter.
  3. Disney (multiple entries): Bans kids from DisneyWorld restaurant; Changes “It’s A Small World” to “A Salute to All Nations, But Mostly America; and Sells “High School Musical” panties for tween girls with the phrase “Dive In” on them.
  4. Woolworths (UK) launches Lolita brand of beds for young girl
  5. JetBlue lives up to Southwest’s parody ad by charging for pillows.
  6. Russia uses smiling kids in tourism ad for war zone
  7. Residents of Lesbos sue those other lesbians over brand name
  8. Motrin gets headache from viral moms video
  9. Butcher’s ads feature “Meat Products, Fresh Service” on naked woman
  10. Hershey asks if you’ve found Mr. Goodbar

Special Jury Awards

Co-Branding That Shouldn’t Have Been

The Alpha & Omega of Over-reaching

Product Failure

The Penguins Of Irony “Oh NO You Din’t” Awards

Previous years’ lists

Penguin seal

Would you buy a used metaphor from GM?

The astoundingly badly run General Motors Corp. has decide that now is the time to try to sell off the Hummer brand.

“Unfortunately, it’s just a sign that once again they’re behind the curve,” said Peter Jankovskis, a chief investment officer with OakBrook Investments, which owns GM shares in some of its portfolios. “If they were looking to sell the Hummer brand, the more sensible thing would have been to do it three years ago. They’re not going to get anything for it. Just in terms of timing, it’s a very poor example.”

I’m no auto genius — which I’m at least willing to admit — but walking past a Hummer dealership this past weekend told me everything I needed to know about the brand and its future. Even the tumbleweeds were avoiding the place.

The Hummer has managed to combine a double entendre and gross conspicuous consumption since it hit the civilian market in 1992. GM bought it in 1999.

At the same time, the Detroit auto maker affirmed its commitment to funding production of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in electric-hybrid vehicle, with a target of hitting showrooms by late 2010.

An electric car?!?!? What a great idea!!!!! Why didn’t GM think of this before … wait, never mind.

My what a big pink Hummer you have

Dr. Freud! Dr. Freud! Paging Dr. Freud!

hummer.jpgA UK company has made explicit what it is that makes SUVs quite so appealing to men. Notice how the elongated pink vehicle sits between the rounded turrets and blocks the entrance to the castle from all lesser SUVs.

And while we’re on the topic of obvious, sophomoric humor: Wanko — the yum dog ice-cream from Japan. “When I suck onto my favorite flavored Popsicle, my mutts stare at me with begging eyes……..for may just one slurp! And why not, a man’s best friend should also get an icy-deal to beat the sizzling summer heat. People in Japan can indulge their pets to this dog-flavored ice-cream called Wanko.” Oh behave!

Just in case this isn’t enough giggling over names that mean one thing in English and another in whatever other language, a caption from a picture: “A four-day old baby hippopotamus hides under its 9-year-old mother Porn at Chiang Mai night safari zoo in Chiang Mai province, northern Thailand, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2007.” What’s the kid’s name? Star? BTW, regardless of their names both are incredibly cute.