GM Curtails Super Bowl Presence

NEW YORK General Motors is cutting back on its in-game advertising in the 2008 Super Bowl, compared to the 2007 contest, but will add some pre-game spots for Chevrolet, a company representative confirmed today.

The rep said the cutback was prompted by a lack of new-product launches timed to the ’08 game.

The carmaker will air just one in-game spot, a 60-second unit for Chevrolet that will air in the second quarter of the game, the rep said. Creative has not been finalized for the ad yet.

In the 2007 Super Bowl, GM aired three in-game ads, including two 60-second spots and one 30-second unit. One corporate spot touted the company’s 100,000-mile power train warranty, which had been rolled out a short time earlier. Another commercial, from Campbell-Ewald, was the end-result of a user-generated competition the carmaker sponsored, designed to lay the groundwork for this year’s introduction of the new Malibu. A third spot was a so-called “anthem” ad featuring Mary J. Blige and other recording artists that promoted GM passenger cars.

Chevrolet, however, will also place eight spots in Fox’s pre-game show, which will air over the course of several hours leading up to the main event. And like last year, Cadillac will have three 30-second units in the post-game wrap-up.

The reduced in-game spot count is “driven by product launch timing,” the rep said. New introductions this year for the Malibu and Cadillac CTS models are essentially complete. “The timing is such that we just don’t need to purchase as many in-game spots,” the rep said.

The Super Bowl airs Feb. 3. The pace of ad sales for the upcoming game has been much quicker than in years past and only two in-game spots are left, Fox has indicated. A year ago CBS still had about 18 spots to sell in mid-January.