DETROIT - Pontiac this week launches the biggest model campaign in its history - more than $100 million - for the 1999 Grand Am. A $4-5 million effort targeting Hispanics will follow in June and run through December.
This marks the first time Pontiac is airing TV spots, by Bromley, Aguilar & Associates of San Antonio, specifically for the Hispanic audience.
"In the past, we have dubbed existing ads, but we see a great opportunity this year to reach a market that has become very valuable to us with a message of their own," said assistant brand manager Jeff Edwards. The ads will reach more than 90 percent of the Hispanic audience, he added.
The mainstream ads play up the "solidness" of the car. One TV spot, from D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in Bloomfield, Hills, Mich., opens at a day care center, where small children and babies are playing with rattles, shaking their cars and squeaking toys. A voiceover says, "Its new solid-form design provides a stronger body structure so rattles are a thing of the past." The camera then pans to a baby, who says, "Hmm . . . solid!"
Another spot focuses on a lack of squeaks in the car.
The brand campaign follows a teaser TV spot that broke in March during the NCAA basketball tournament in which an X-ray of the car was shown with the tag, "Excitement well built."
The "solid" message is meant to address a widely held perception that Japanese cars are stiffer, more solid and rattle-free than their Detroit rivals. "That's what our customers and prospects tell us is important to them," said Edwards.
Commercials for last year's model focused on the car's engineering, durability and "driving excitement." "Built for kicks, built for keeps" was that effort's tagline.
Grand Am has been among the 10 top selling cars since 1992, with roughly 60 percent of its sales to women. Spots will air on network, cable and syndicated TV. - with Tanya Gazdik