GM Extends OnStar Stories Into ‘Documercial’

CHICAGO General Motors is expanding its OnStar television campaign that depicts people’s use of the driver-assistance service into a 30-minute “documercial” to air on several cable networks.

The effort, entitled “Tales From the Road,” will begin airing on HGTV, The Food Network, Discovery Channel and TLC beginning Nov. 8. The work tells the stories of real-life OnStar subscribers, such as Geraldine Felax who used OnStar to call for emergency help to rescue her husband, Sam, who was trapped under a tractor.

The documercial goes a step further than current the television campaign, which uses audio of actual OnStar calls against a text screen. That television effort from Campbell-Ewald Advertising in Warren, Mich., broke in November 2002, and used the tag, “OnStar. Always there, always ready.” The long-form commercial, from CEA and MVP Communications in Warren, Mich., shows real people and dramatizations of their plights.

“It’s difficult to share these compelling stories and explain all the benefits of OnStar in a 60-second radio or TV spot,” said Tony DiSalle, vice president for OnStar sales, service and marketing, in a statement. “This longer format gives us a chance to better educate consumers about the benefits of OnStar and reach one of our most important audiences—women.”

General Motors spent nearly $15 million advertising the driver-assistance service last year, according to Nielsen Monitor Plus.