Building Buzz with the Oprah Nation

Turns out that Oprah can help a marketer move thousands of CPGs off the shelves, but may not be as useful in pushing poorly-regarded lumps of steel. Her promotion of the Pontiac G6 - including giving away 276 of them to her audience - helped build buzz for the product last September. But sales haven't followed suit.

Industry analysts, however, lay the blame on the design and capabilities of the car.

    "... neither GM's marketing department nor Winfrey can be blamed for the market performance of the G6.

    "It's one thing to have that kind of a major marketing coup, but you need to back it up," said [Art Spinella, president of CNW Marketing Research], who said he believes that the vehicle is an underwhelming package in a competitive marketplace.

    In fact, Spinella said, GM's marketing department should be credited with getting the lackluster G6 so much attention."(Detroit Free Press)