GM’s CUV Ads Stress Choice

Mullen is launching a $20 million national campaign for General Motors’ Certified Used Vehicle program this month with offbeat advice on the difference between good and bad decisions.

The effort includes radio spots breaking at the end of this month and newspaper and magazine ads breaking in July and August.

Print ads take a humorous approach in demonstrating people making right and wrong decisions. They feature customers’ heads flanked by instant-camera photos of good choices—represented by a GM Certified Used Vehicles road sign—and bad choices.

One ad shows a man’s “bad decision” to swat a beehive with a broomstick, as opposed to the “good decision” to purchase a GM used car. Another shows a woman’s “painful memory” of a wacky haircut; the third depicts a man’s “dumb move” to have a large tattoo drawn across his back.

All describe the CUV program’s benefits, including a 100-plus point inspection, limited bumper-to-bumper warranty, roadside assistance and a 150-mile/three-day satisfaction guar antee. The tag, “The right way. The right car,” appears at the bottom. Mul len introduced the tagline last fall in a series of news paper and radio ads.

“We wanted to show the angst of the decision-making process and the ability of people to make good and bad decisions,” said creative director Jim Hagar, adding that the idea is to assure customers that if they purchase a GM Certified Used Vehicle, their worries will disappear.

The ads are running in Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated, Car & Driver and other consumer magazines. Sim ilarly themed radio ads are airing na tionally. TV is a possibility in the future, Hagar said.

Creative credits include copywriter Marty Senn and art director Ed Parks.

GM CUV man ager Dana Hammer de clined to reveal budget levels, but said the automaker would spend more this year than it has in the brand’s history. Spending could exceed $20 million, according to sources.

The number of dealers in the program has risen from about 1,300 in January 2001 to more than 3,400 nationwide. Due to the increase, the campaign needed to take more of a national approach than it has in the past, said Brad Audet, Mullen vp, account director.