Car Maker Tunes Up Service Spots

General Motors will launch a national campaign this fall via Bcom3’s D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Troy, Mich., for GM Service and Parts Operations, including the division’s first TV spots in two years.

TV was deemed ineffective in the past, largely because only about half of GM’s 7,400 dealers used the Goodwrench name, said Tom Downey, D’Arcy senior vice president and group account director.

That will change in January, when GM is scheduled to drop its certification process and dub all of its dealer-service operations Goodwrench, said Jon Brancheau, director of brand marketing for GM Service and Parts Operations.

Dealers are being asked to form local marketing groups for their service operations, similar to those used on the vehicle-sales side of the business, Brancheau said. A matching-fund program is being created to pay for expanded ad efforts, he said.

Spending for the new ini tiative was undisclosed.

The fall TV work will seek to re-introduce the Goodwrench name to consumers. The major thrust of the endeavor will launch in the spring of 2003. D’Arcy is working with a startup consultancy, The Optimization Group, launched by former J. Walter Thompson execs Chris Grindem and Jeff Ewald, to test different components of that new program.

GM’s budget behind the Goodwrench program dropped from $30 million in 2000 to just $4 million last year, according to CMR.