GMC Ads To Get More Muscular, Consistent Brand Positioning

General Motors’ GMC truck division will launch advertising for its new Envoy and Yukon Denali premium sport utilities in May that aims to take the brand back to its future and away from the 2-year-old “Comfortably in command” tagline.
GMC has been using disparate messages to advertise its various models, touting towing capacity of its Yukon while using Martha Stewart to attract women to the Jimmy. But it plans to reposition the brand as “trucks and sport utilities of the professionals,” said Jimmy brand manager Jeff Cohen.
Although new agency Ammirati Puris Lintas, New York, is still working on a specific tagline, Cohen said the campaign will position GMC vehicles as “authentic, professional-grade trucks.” The brand manager, who came to GM from Nabisco two years ago, compared the positioning to heavy-duty brands in other categories, such as Viking Stoves and Dewalt Power Tools.
“There has been a trend toward people of middle to high incomes seeking out brands traditionally associated with professional practitioners, and we feel that GMC should be capitalizing on that,” Cohen said. “The brand has a long history of being associated with contractors and tradesmen who are seen as especially discerning about the trucks they buy.”
GMC’s national ad spending this year is expected to be 10-15 percent above the approximately $155 million spent in 1997, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Traditional advertising will be augmented by direct mail.
–David Kiley