General Motors’ Expanded Plans For OnStar Benefit Ammirati

By Tanya Gazdik

DETROIT–General Motors’ relationship with Ammirati Puris Lintas, New York, is growing as the automaker prepares to increase the availability of its OnStar navigation and security system this fall, said OnStar representative Bruce MacDonald.

Ammirati is developing a strategy to create a strong brand identity for OnStar. ‘Initially, it was going to be an option mentioned in other ads, but now it’s becoming its own thing,’ a source said. ‘It’s going to be a really big deal.’

‘Ammirati is providing the creative and the planning in anticipation of an integrated communications rollout in the fall,’ added MacDonald.

Plans call for broadcast and print advertising, shows and exhibits, direct marketing, sales promotion and an Internet site, MacDonald said. GM’s MediaWorks will buy and place the advertising, he added.

OnStar debuted as a $1,000 option on ’97 Cadillacs, though not the new Catera. It is an interactive mobile information and communications system that links the driver and the vehicle to the OnStar Center, where advisers provide help and service, emergency and otherwise.

The system will be available this fall as an option on all Buick models, as well as selected vehicles from other GM car and truck lines. It will also be available on the Cadillac Catera.

D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in Troy, Mich., has handled broadcast and print advertising on OnStar thus far because of the system’s availability only on Cadillac models, MacDonald said. Ammirati has headed up strategy and direct marketing projects.

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