General Motors Revs Ad Spending This Year For Redesigned Models

General Motors this year is planning double-digit percentage increases in ad spending on several redesigned models across its divisional portfolio.
The budget for the all-new, 1999 model Pontiac Grand Am is being doubled this year, to approximately $100 million, according to the vehicle’s brand manager, Jim Bunnell. The campaign, created by Pontiac’s national agency, D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Troy, Mich., is scheduled to break in early April, he said.
The campaign’s tagline is “Excitement well built,” Bunnell said.
Targeting 25- to 45-year-olds, ads will emphasize the vehicle’s sporty styling. A separate marketing effort targeting Hispanics, from DMB&B subsidiary Bromley, Aguilar & Associates in San Antonio, Texas, will run from May through November. The program, which includes a TV spot for Spanish-language stations, is the first effort in a five-year plan to better reach the Hispanic population, Bunnell said.
Meanwhile, GM’s Chevrolet division will spend $80-100 million on advertising for its new full-size Silverado pickup, said Kurt Ritter, the vehicle’s brand manager.
The campaign, from Chevrolet’s national agency, Campbell-Ewald Advertising in Warren, Mich., is scheduled to break in early fall. Chevrolet spent a total of about $58 million on measured media for the 1997 model year, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Bob Seger’s “Like a rock” continues as the theme song and tagline for the truck, which is being redesigned for the first time in more than a decade, Ritter said. While the tone remains
emotional, it is critical that the spots communicate the vehicle’s new features, he said.
Chevrolet also plans to revitalize its Monte Carlo brand. An estimated $20 million multiyear deal with Warner Bros. brings in the Tasmanian Devil cartoon character as the vehicle’s new ad spokesman.
The animated fiend will appear with racing champion Dale Earnhardt in a TV spot from Campbell-Ewald in mid-February, to coincide with the Daytona 500.
GM’s Oldsmobile division will launch an ad campaign for its all-new Alero nameplate in late September, said Bob Clark, the vehicle’s brand manager. The estimated $80 million campaign will include print and TV work from Olds’ national agency, Leo Burnett, as well as promotions from Frankel & Co., Chicago, and direct mail efforts from Bronner Slosberg Humphrey, Boston. The ads will be a little “edgy,” Clark said, in order to attract independent-minded younger buyers to a division that typically sells to baby boomers.
GM’s Cadillac division will boost advertising 40 percent for the redesigned 1998 model Seville, with regional efforts in mid-March and national efforts in April, said Ed Berger, Seville brand manager. DMB&B handles both regional and national advertising for the brand.
–with David Kiley and Tobi Elkin