GM Execs Kill Sarah Palin, Tina Fey Car Commercial

Before settling for a more traditional launch of its Cruze small sedan, Chevrolet ad execs pitched a spot featuring Republican star Sarah Palin and comedy doppelganger Tina Fey. Why did it die? Too hot for Government Motors.

According to Reuters' lengthy account of the run-up to General Motors stock sale expected later this month, U.S. officials have taken a stronger role in GM's big decisions than previously suggested, enough to play into the unexpected departure of chairman Ed Whitacre, who apparently took weekday breaks to go fishing in Canada. And the government's 61% stake has complicated life far beyond Washington and Wall Street.

Before the Cruze's launch, Chevy marketers apparently wanted a nuclear-sized flash with a Palin/Fey spot. It's unclear whether the ad ever made it past the idea stage into production, but between the IPO and Tuesday's elections, GM execs decided the ad was too edgy for their brand:

The stigma of government ownership also complicated GM's efforts to market itself. In one case, GM quietly dropped a plan for a commercial for the Chevy Cruze small car that would have featured Sarah Palin, the polarizing Republican politician, and her comic doppelganger, Tina Fey, two people familiar with the proposal said. Coming so close to the November election and the IPO, the ad was seen as edgy, but too controversial given GM's ownership, they said.

Instead, GM went with Tim Allen's soothing voiceovers for the Cruze, and settled for OnStar reviving another "Saturday Night Live" alum with its "Toonces" spot expected on tonight's SNL special, which will feature clips of...Tiny Fey as Sarah Palin.

Photo Credit: AP