Saturday, March 01, 2008

A new way to pleasure myself in bed and other things I learned at the Chicago Auto Show

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Funny how the blogosphere works. I wrote a post in which I invited my blog sistah Devra to crash at my place before or after her GM-sponsored visit to the Chicago Auto Show and next thing I know I’m invited, as well.

Just weeks later I found myself alone in a large, comfy bed at the Swissotel in downtown Chicago. I switched on my TV and my attention was immediately piqued by the unique viewing options. What the heck, I decided to try something a little different, even if it meant shelling out a bit of my own cash.

So I had my first taste of Internet over the TV! It might as well be porn, DH regards much of my mommy-blog reading time as so much masturbation, anyway.
Turns out it was clunky and cumbersome. Half of the screen was missing despite the fact that I was viewing on a large-screen TV. The whole process was frustratingly slow. It's an idea whose time has not yet come.

Which is fine, because I'm sure General Motors would rather I write about the new Traverse, and meeting with various executives than my experience in bed with blogging via television.

So here's the deal, GM invited a handful of car enthusiast and parent bloggers to join them for the unveiling of the new CUV, the Traverse. As part of our junket we had dinner with Ed Peper, general manager of Chevrolet along with key members of the Traverse design team, including Don Butler, the very enthusiastic executive director of truck marketing. We talked cars, we talked market research, we talked families. It was an interesting night.

The next day after the Big Reveal of the Traverse, we had a smaller Q&A with Troy Clarke, president of GM North America and group discussion with Mark LaNeve, vehicle marketing VP.

As with my previous GM experience, it was useful to be grouped with the car enthusiasts because I learned a lot from their in-depth questions and the related answers. Along these lines, I give Mark credit for not even batting an eye as we went around the room introducing ourselves and our blogs. The blog were "car this" and "auto that," and then I speak up, Kim from Hormone-colored Days. I'm sure he was like, "WTF is she doing here?"

Informative discussions and good company aside, what I found most fascinating is GM's unique approach to blogger outreach. Having participated in many different marketing events, I'm impressed by the work of Christopher Barger and his colleagues. If they can make cars as well as they execute their blog events, GM will be in good shape.

Oh yeah, and they've got to maximize fuel efficiency. And if they can bring back 0% financing, because the economy is as shaky as the steering wheel on my 2000 Subaru, we might just give GM a try.

I'll soon have a little up close and personal insight on how GM makes cars. Assuming I don't come down with the stomach bug that turned my house into a vomitorium last night (thank God we have two bathrooms), I'm going to take a GM-sponsored trip to Spring Hill, TN where they are prepping the plant to produce the Traverse. They don't know this about me, but I love factory tours (especially this one).

Here are a few of the people I met at the Car Show. I apologize for lack of links, but, well, I think I mentioned the Barf Fest at Chez Moldofsky last night, so give me a break.

Demetra of
Brian from
Isabel of
Kristin from

I also shared a ride and breakfast with Joanne Krell, director of communications for GM premium brands. Did you know Hummers get more than 8 mpg? Or that Saab is a GM brand?

For more of my musings, check out BabyCenter's MOMformation blog, where I post five times each week.

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