Certified GM

Pretty much every major car maker has their “Certified” used car program, in which the used car goes through a (hopefully) thorough quality check and comes backed with an extended warranty. GM is no different.

To promote the GM Certified used cars, the company ran this ad back in November of 2006:

GM ad from November 2006

Now, I know, I know. Ads for certified used cars aren’t as sexy or fun as ads for sports cars or rugged trucks or dead brands or things like that. But bear with me. This one is worth inclusion here as it’s definitely part of GM’s business model.

The keen observers among you might notice that this ad’s aspect ratio is different than most. Most single-page ads are more of a “Portrait” style aspect ratio, while two-page spreads are typically more “Landscape.” This ad doesn’t really fit either.

That’s because this was a single-page ad rotated -90 degrees. I have rotated it back +90 degrees so you can see what’s going on here.

If you were thumbing through the magazine, however, the ad would have looked more like the image on the right.

Maybe that’s clever marketing? Forcing the reader to rotate the magazine to see what’s going on? I don’t know. But it’s definitely different.

Enough about degrees and rotation and such. Let’s talk about websites. Because the fine text of this (rotated) ad wants us to visit GMCertified.com.

Of course, what we really care about is what happens when you try to go to GMCertified.com today:

Hey! That’s great! The site still exists some 16 years later. Good for you GM!

This is particularly wonderful because, frankly, GM can be a bit hit-or-miss when it comes to maintaining old websites.

So, yeah, if I had my own certification program, I’d give GMCertified.com the Fred Olson seal of approval.

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