GM’s CUV Ads Stress Choice

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

Radio spots begin airing at the end of this month, and newspaper and magazine ads break 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 CUV 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 spot shows a woman’s “painful memory” of a wacky haircut; a third depicts a man’s “dumb move” of getting a large tattoo across his back.

All describe the CUV program’s benefits, including a 100-plus point inspection, a limited bum- per-to-bumper warranty, roadside assistance and a 150-mile/ three-day satis faction guarantee. The tag line, “The right way. The right car,” appears at the bottom. Mullen introduced the tag last fall in a series of newspaper 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.

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

The number of dealers in the program has risen from about 1,300 in January 2001 to more than 3,400 nationwide. Owing 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.