Best Promotion Ever? - Newshound
DETROIT?With third-quarter sales sluggish and its share of the domestic market down 11 percent since 1993, General Motors unveiled a new instant-win airbag contest Monday.

The new airbags, which award fabulous prizes upon violent, high-speed impact with another car or stationary object, will come standard in all of the company's 2002 cars.

"Auto accidents have never been so exciting," said GM vice-president of marketing Roger Jenkins, who expects the contest to boost 2002 sales significantly. "When you play the new GM Instant Win Airbag Game, your next fatal collision could mean a trip for two to the Super Bowl. Or a year's worth of free Mobil gasoline."

Though it does not officially begin until Jan. 1, 2002, the airbag promotion is already being tested in select cities, with feedback overwhelmingly positive.

"As soon as my car started to skid out of control, I thought to myself, 'Oh, boy, this could be it?I could be a big winner!'" said Cincinnati's Martin Frelks, who lost his wife but won $50 Sunday when the Buick LeSabre they were driving hit an oil slick at 60 mph and slammed into an oncoming truck. "When the car stopped rolling down the embankment, I knew Ellen was dead, but all I could think about was getting the blood and glass out of my eyes so I could read that airbag!"

Hartford, CT, resident Jonathan Ryerson was killed Sunday when his 1997 Pontiac LeMans hit a freight train. Ryerson won $50 in the accident.

"It's really addictive," said Sacramento, CA, resident Marjorie Kamp, speaking from her hospital bed, where she is listed in critical condition with severe brain hemorrhaging and a punctured right lung. "I've already crashed four cars trying to win those Super Bowl tickets, but I still haven't won. I swear, I'm going to win those tickets?even if it kills me!"

Kamp said that as soon as she is well enough, she plans to buy a new Pontiac Bonneville and drive it into a tree.

GM officials are not surprised the airbag contest has been so well received. "In the past, nobody really liked car wrecks, and that's understandable. After all, they're scary and dangerous and, sometimes, even fatal," GM CEO Paul Offerman said. "But now, when you drive a new GM car or truck, your next serious crash could mean serious cash. Who wouldn't like that?"

Offerman added that in the event a motorist wins a prize but is killed, that prize will be awarded to the next of kin.

According to GM's official contest rules, odds of winning the grand prize, a brand-new 2002 Cutlass Supreme, are 1 in 43,000,000. Statistical experts, however, say the real chances of winning are significantly worse. "If you factor in the odds of getting in a serious car accident in the first place?approximately 1 in 720,000?the actual odds of winning a prize each time you step in your car are more like 1 in 31 trillion."

Further, even if one is in an accident, there is no guarantee the airbag will inflate. "I was recently broadsided by a drunk driver in my new Chevy Cavalier," said Erie, PA, resident Jerry Polaner. "My car was totaled, and because it was the side of my car that got hit, my airbag didn't even inflate. But what really gets me is the fact that the drunk driver, who rammed my side with the front of his 1997 Buick Regal, won a $100 Office Depot gift certificate. That's just wrong."
Re: Best Promotion Ever? - Moosh
Good one Newshound!!
Re: Best Promotion Ever? - Brian
Surely this is a spoof.
We are coming up to Christmas Day, not April Fool's Day.
If it is not a spoof then it is one of the sickest notions dreamed up.
General Motors will get any sales from me.
Re: Best Promotion Ever? - Brill
Brian!
Re: Best Promotion Ever? - Brian
Ok, so it's a spoof.
And it's sick.
Martin, suggest you moderate PDQ.
Re: Best Promotion Ever? - Dan J
I think it's very amusing and don't see why it should be removed, no offence Brian - It is the sort of crackpot idea that you can see being the norm in 20 years time!
Re: Best Promotion Ever? - Brian
Sorry Dan J, my sense of humour doesn't extend that far.
For at least five reasons.
"E", wife's aunt, died of head injuries after being hit by a motorbike.
"J" and "P", died of multiple injuries when a car crossed the central reservation and landecon top of theirs.
"M", killed when a cement truck toppled onto his Range Rover.
"B", died instantly of a broken neck, struck by a car after coming off his motorbike.
I had "J"'s parents in my lounge describing how they watched their daughter die in hospital.
"B" was my son's best friend, his mother works next door.
Road travel is dangerous. Most comment on here is in favour of safety.
But death on the roads is not, IMHO, a suitable subject for humour.
Re: Best Promotion Ever? - ChrisR
Oh, Brian. Most people have lost people they know this way. Satire is a necessary and healthy thing. And let's face it, big companies will try anything to sell us their product. The fact that you had a moment of doubt that it was a spoof says something about the times, maybe.

Chris
Re: Best Promotion Ever? - Dan J
Fair play Brian - I have also lost a family member via a motor accident. I do, however, agree with ChrisR that I was finding it very amusing and funny from a satirical point of view. 10, 5, even 2 years ago I probably wouldn't have done but the current attitude of big business with their various incorrect politically or otherwise publicity stunts and promotions means the fact this kind of thing is semi-believable makes it amusing [to me].

Sorry if you were offended.
Re: Best Promotion Ever? - Neil
This is the sort of satire that is necessary to draw attention to the stupidity of many of the driving population who believe they're safe in their cars.

As far as the humour is concerned: it needs to offend and shock and even disgust.

We live in a culture where, through Focus points, people can collect enough coupons to buy some piece of tat but only after they've smoked themselves half to death. We live in a culture where people who can least afford it are tempted to buy lottery ticket after lottery ticket.

There is no essential difference between current advertising portraying airbags almost like soft, fluffy pillows or cars as the safest in their class as there is in the post above.
Re: Best Promotion Ever? - Steve G
Perhaps Ford should have hidden prizes in their Firestone tyres fitted to the Explorer.
Re: Best Promotion Ever? - Kev
I just hope that when they crashed they weren't breaking the speed limit, as that would cause an accident.
Kev
Re: Best Promotion Ever? - STEVE D
AS WE LIVE IN THE UK GM OWN VAUXHALL I BELIEVE ,WILL THEY BE RUNNING THE SAME PROMO ON THEIR CARS ?IF NOT I`LL BOOK MY NEXT HOLIDAY IN USA AND FLYDRIVE, BY THE WAY CAN YOU LET ME KNOW WHICH RENTAL COMPANIES USE GM MOTORS ON THIER HIRE FLEET AS I WOULD HATE TO MISS OUT ON A GREAT PRIZE IF I GET KILLED BY DRIVING ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD(EASY MISTAKE)
Re: Best Promotion Ever? - Brill
Steve,

Shhhhhhhh!
Seriously - - Rich L
I know its a spoof, and a pretty good one at that, but it got me thinking.

Would it be worth manufacturers printing simple first-aid instructions on car airbags, so in the event of a crash the first people on the scene would have some simple guidelines to follow while waiting for the Ambulance to arrive?

Rich
Re: Seriously - - Steve G
Perhaps lawyers could advertise their services on the airbags...
Been in a acccident then call this number to make your personal injury claim..
Re: Seriously - - pugugly
WoW what a thought !
 

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