GM Print Touts Vehicle Improvements

DETROIT General Motors is launching a corporate campaign on June 2 in an effort to attract the 40 percent of consumers who, according to the client, won’t even consider buying a GM vehicle.

The first two-page ad in the campaign calls attention to the automaker’s achievements in improving the quality of its vehicles over the past 10 years, said Gary Cowger, president of GM North America. Future efforts, which are to include TV spots, will focus on topics such as GM’s advanced technology, the automaker’s pro-environment activities and the strides it has made in improving design, he said.

Creative was done by Interpublic Group’s McCann-Erickson, Troy, Mich., while media planning and buying were respectively handled by Publicis Groupe’s GM Planworks, Detroit, and IPG’s GM Mediaworks, Warren, Mich.

The effort targets upscale, affluent and educated consumers and will appear in publications such as the New Yorker, Architectural Digest, Travel & Leisure, Gourmet, The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s. John Middlebrook, GM’s vice president and general manager, vehicle brand marketing and corporate advertising, declined to discuss spending on the effort but said it has “strong support” and is considered a long-term effort. “We don’t expect to see results in 30 days, or even 60 days,” he added.

GM spent about $260 million on corporate advertising including sales incentive offers in 2002, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

In the first ad one of the two pages is devoted almost entirely to copy. It includes a technical story, product examples and various accolades the automaker has received. All of GM’s U.S. brands, including Saturn, Saab and Hummer, are featured.

The campaign does not include a tagline and simply relies on the GM logo above the names of the divisions. Middlebrook said it was decided not to put the campaign under the GM Overdrive effort because those ads mainly focus on incentive offers whereas the new ad is more image focused.