Scratch At The 2012 Detroit Auto Show

I promised myself I would write down, at some point, what it felt like to sit in the crowd at the Detroit Auto Show and watch General Motors take its first huge (public) steps towards Millennials.

This isn’t that post in a cogent form, but I can’t help sharing how proud I am of my team for its groundbreaking work.  The results speak for themselves.  So much is happening so fast, I hope by putting a snaptshot down here I might remember what it felt like.  That simple. 

There, on the big blue stage, was GM’s North American President, Mark Reuss, followed by Global Youth Marketing Head, John McFarland — our friends, partners and clients — explaining how the automaker’s work with Scratch has informed design, engineering and marketing decisions across the company.

And there was Anne Hubert, who runs our consulting practice, up on the huge screen, championing the very generation that is right now transforming the auto industry, forever.

When I turned around to see if anyone was actually paying attention, this is what I saw:

Baller!  And my stupid bberry cam could only capture a fraction of the global press barrage.

Throughout the day, like a feed, friends and colleagues sent us links to all the press mentioning our work with GM, many with lines like GM gets help from MTV to woo millennials; GM built the concepts after interviewing high schoolers, college students and young professionals, with the help of MTV’s Scratch division, which targets millennials; and The design was done with the aid of MTV Scratch.

Here are but a few:


What’s more, a slew of mainstream and auto media picked up on the dramatic shift in GM’s approach, and celebrated it with headlines like:

  • “GM knows that striking a chord with the youngest generation of new-car shoppers—the under-30 crowd, or Millennials—is imperative for the brand’s future growth.”
  • “Chevrolet MyLink democratizes infotainment, coming to 2013 Sonic and Spark”
  • “Chevy aims for millennial market with two concepts”
  • “Chevrolet aims 2 concept cars at Millennials”
  • “General Motors takes aim at first-time vehicle buyers”
  • “Chevy’s latest concepts — crafted by the kids” 


Yes, we’re just getting started.  But I remember when Carlo DiMarco told me in an elevator once how sad it is that we don’t take a moment to enjoy the moments.  Carlo, you were right.  Tonight I’m sitting here with a bottle of wine and a pile of insights on a generation I’m in love with.  Taking a moment to let at least some of this seep in.


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