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General Motors on the Advertising Attack

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General Motors on the Advertising Attack

October 25, 2005

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GM has released some impressive products as of late:

*The totally overhauled Chevy Impala complete with a SS version with a 303-horsepower V8...

*The Miata-fighting Pontiac Solstice roadster...

*Not to mention the current king of the hill, the Chevy Corvette Z06.

However, as it is with most any product, they all require one key element to aid sales (ok, the Z06 probably needs no help)...


Advertisement is the means through which companies showcase their products to the public. This is done via television, radio, newsprint, and radio. General Motors spends $2.6 billion on advertising annually and lately it is showing in quality and quantity. It has been most apparent to me on the television front.

Take the new Chevrolet ads for instance. One features several models and states the highway mileage for each of them in voice and text. This is good and important in these times of higher gas prices as there are some impressive numbers stated such as the Malibu which can achieve 32 highway miles per gallon. They have also really been pushing the HHR with attractive imagery accompanied with good music. Obviously, this is paying big dividends as Chevy has had to up HHR production to meet demand.

Pontiac’s latest ads are really something. The commercials use music as the background and as part of the focus. What you see on the screen is intricately tied in with the music (think of the visuals you see when you play music using Windows Media Player). My favorite Pontiac ad features the Solstice, G6 Coupe, and Torrent with music by M83 (“Don’t Save Us from the Flames”).

The latest new GM ads have been from Saab premiering their new tagline: “Born From Jets”, referring to Saab’s heritage in building aircrafts. One ad features 9-3 Convertible driving along with five Saab jets flying above it. For substance, they mention the new turbocharged V6 available in the 9-3 that produces 250 horsepower. Although the aircraft maker and automobile maker are now dissociated, it’s good to connect your brand with something adventurous and exciting. Plus, having an interesting history behind your cars never hurt.

Another positive thing about the latest GM ads is that more of them are confronting the competition. An ad for the 2006 Buick Lacrosse mentions the standard V6 engine, OnStar service, and 4 year/50,000 mile warranty not found in the Camry or Accord. GMC ads tout how the Envoy Denali has the most standard horsepower of any midsized SUV and how the Sierra gets better fuel economy than Dodge or Nissan.

The best part of this is these ads are all appearing frequently. GM seems intent on getting the word out on their new products. So far, it seems they’re doing a good job of it. These ads are appearing on most major networks and they are also showing during popular programs. You can tell they are not squandering that 2.6 billion.

Keep up the advertising blitz, GM.

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Good write-up... I really like the Impala commercial where the mini-impala logo starts off running throught a grassland (the rear deck carpeting), then is seen walking through the rest of the interior before it settles for its spot on the dashboard. It's a very creative way of selling the Impala name and showcasing the interior design.

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