by Thomas Wailgum

Marketing IT: GM Staffer Puts the IT in Celebrity

Jan 15, 20062 mins
Consumer Electronics

The only time you’re likely to see IS people in TV ads is when big consultancies want viewers to think their in-house IS needs help. And the actors in those ads are portraying stereotypical, IS geeks with little business sense.

Cut to Matthew Meier, a manager of IT management and planning within General Motors’ IT Strategy Group. Meier was featured in a GM commercial that ran this past fall and winter, including during ABC’s Monday Night Football telecasts. Meier has two lines, in which he tells viewers about the value of GMC trucks and how easy it is to buy a vehicle from the company.

Meier isn’t sure how he ended up in the ad. “I got on somebody’s list,” he recalls. “Then I was told to bring some khakis and a blue shirt, and go to someone’s house in Birmingham, Mich.”

He says he was amazed by all the planning that went into filming a 30-second TV spot (including decisions about what he should wear and where he should stand). “We obviously must spend a lot on advertising,” he says of the process.

Back at the IS shop, Meier has been dubbed “Hollywood” by his colleagues. Seeing himself on TV is surreal, he says. “You just don’t believe it’s you.”