XM Ads Push NavTraffic Service

NEW YORK XM Satellite Radio is getting into the traffic information business. The company is launching an advertising campaign this week to promote XM Navtraffic, a real-time service targeted at gridlocked cities around the U.S.

Starting today, XM, which is based in Washington, will air three 10-second TV spots in 30 major markets touting XM Navtraffic. The effort also includes online ads at various Web sites and outdoor billboard placements in high-traffic locations. The tagline is, “Get there faster.”

The commercial spots were developed by Lowe, New York, in collaboration with Brand-Aid in Washington and J.J. Sedelmaier Productions, White Plains, N.Y. A print effort is being contemplated. Budget for the effort was not revealed. XM spent $35 million in ads in the U.S. last year (excluding online), per Nielsen Monitor-Plus, and $700,000 for the first quarter of 2008.

XM NavTraffic, which monitors traffic flow in major metropolitan areas, has been getting some push already, as XM partners Nissan, Infiniti and Lexus have their own ads promoting the traffic service.

The XM spots portray drivers in their cars listening to the satellite radio service, and then using XM NavTraffic to find alternate, quicker routes to their designations.

XM NavTraffic is targeting the commuting automobile driver looking for a way to drive more efficiently in and around metropolitan areas, said Jeff Curry, XM’s vp of automotive marketing. He added, “XM NavTraffic supports the efforts of many of our automotive partners who have already been touting the fuel and time saving benefits of the service in their own advertising.”

Nissan, Infiniti, Lexus, Toyota and Cadillac currently account for most of the 18 vehicle models capable of using XM NavTraffic. By 2009, that figure is expected to add 22 General Motors’ models.

XM NavTraffic comes in a kit with the radio package. It can be loaded into the GPS platforms of Garmin, Pioneer, Alpine and Kenwood navigation systems. NavTraffic will directly provide drivers with up-to-the-minute information on accidents and other delays. Traffic speed information is shown by color-coding roadways to indicate traffic flow speed. Estimates are provided on the expected duration of delays, with the ability to reroute drivers around trouble spots as displayed on the vehicle’s navigation system screen.