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GM to Revitalize Goodwrench

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

TV had been dropped largely because only about half of GM's 7,400 dealers used the Goodwrench name, said Tom Downey, the Troy, Mich., agency's senior vice president and group account director.

That will change in January, when GM is scheduled to change 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.

"We're basically partnering up [with dealers], pooling the resources and going to market in a way that we think will be a lot more relevant," Brancheau said.

Spending for the new ini tiative was undisclosed. GM's budget behind the Goodwrench program dropped from $30 million in 2000 to just $4 million last year, according to CMR.

The fall TV work will seek to reintroduce 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 the new program. Optimi zation is tracking three Goodwrench pro motion campaigns that are running over 30 days. Results of those tests will be considered in producing next year's campaign.

Grindem was executive director of the JWT Retail Group and Ewald was general manager, JWT Detroit. Grindem left in August 2000 and Ewald left sometime last fall. Their new endeavor is set up to measure the results of marketing programs.