Chevy Cruze's Dumb Super Bowl Ad: Reading Facebook in the Car

Last Updated Feb 7, 2011 11:26 AM EST

One of the Super Bowl highlights was an ad showing the Chevy Cruze and its Facebook-reading service. Unfortunately, Chevrolet (GM) spent $3 million highlighting a Knight Rider-inspired feature no one wants or, more importantly, needs.

The ad is simple: A guy gets a first kiss from a woman while he drops her off for the night. He worries about how it went so, on the way home, he asks his Chevy Cruze to check her Facebook status. It says "Best first kiss. Ever." He's super happy and drives into the night.

Issues with legal and ethical acceptance
It's not a good look for Chevy to parade its new technology at the Super Bowl.

First, there's the legal issue with it. States have already clamped down on phone texting, making it illegal in all states. The first text-free laws came swiftly into effect shortly after the arrival of the Apple (APPL) iPhone. The voice-only Facebook isn't as dangerous as having a touchscreen-based Facebook in the car, but it's also much easier to get distracted by the details of, say, a paramour's Facebook wall than it is with other voice commands and responses in today's cars.

Second, it's harder to prove the relevance and immediacy of Facebook compared to the currently accepted talking email, which creates a problem with acceptance. Email can be work related or personal, but Facebook is still viewed as extracurricular social media. You can virtually picture Oprah advocating a no-Facebook zone as she did with the no-texting zone two years ago.

Pushes the limits of overstimulation

It's a cute warm-and-fuzzy ad, but the question becomes if people (including Gen Yers, which is where the ad seems to be aimed) want that much stimulation all the time. The cutting-edge blog Mashable gave its concerns about overwhelming social media -- back in 2009. Social media is even more prevalent and accessible today,

We are already buckling under the stress of too much communication when we're walking down the street -- imagine this technology while we are driving.

As the Los Angeles Times' Rick Rojas put it:

It's amazing what a car can do, sure. What does that say about us? I'm fully cognizant of the fact that I'm writing this while simultaneously watching television and watching YouTube videos and blogging. Still, can't we protect the sanctity of the driver's seat -- the one place other than church where it's alright to keep technology to a minimum.


The consumers realize this too: As commenter alan joseph said on Engadget, "It's said not to be behind the wheel when you're under emotional duress. I can only imagine what he would have done if it were a bad post"

Photo courtesy of Clintus McGintus // CC 2.0
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