00Psst said:Not to be a wet blanket but Oprah didn't give cars to her audience - Pontiac did. It clearly says the cars were donated by Pontiac and they clearly see the marketing advantage to this. The cars retail value is $28000 each which means they probably cost GM $22000 to manufacture. Multiply that by 260 audience members and it cost GM a little less than 6 million bucks to do this. Now figure that the cost of a 30 second commercial during the Oprah show probably costs somewhere around 100k, and multiply the amount of time that this took on the show - my guess is 10 minutes - and you can see where this was purely a good business decision. They get 20 million dollars worth of advertising plus an untold amount of good will all for the price of 6 million bucks.
I'm not a huge fan of people getting credit for giving like this when it clearly has only a business purpose. It is what it is - if they had really wanted to do something charitable, then why not give the 260 cars to folks who really need them rather than a bunch of middle class housewives.
Its okay to admire Oprah for her business acumen and to admire GM for being smart enough to see a phenomenal business opportunity and take advantage. Its even okay to admire each for actual charitable contributions but let's not mistake this for that.
AND - all the news coverage that this show got - the on-air time for that car must have been compounded quite alot.The Blue Blur said:more than 10 minutes. it was the whole show. So yeah, that was a bargain. They had TONS of random shots of the thing and Oprah stated the car's name no fewer than 170 times . Pump up sales and ratings, a great business move.