Mullen Touts GM Used Cars

Mullen this week introduces a campaign for General Motors that touts the ease of purchasing a GM-certified used vehicle.

Tagged “The right way. The right car,” the campaign uses print and radio advertising to convey the perks of buying a used car through the program—including a three-day trial period, limited bumper-to-bumper warranty, roadside assistance, a 100-plus point inspection and a 4.9 percent APR financing plan.

Print ads feature headlines fashioned in automotive nameplate typefaces on the vehicles’ trunk lids and tailgates. One reads, “The 3-day/ 150-mile guarantee. Just to make sure it gets along with your other car.” Another says, “24-hour roadside assistance. Another great service you’ll probably never need.”

The advertising is a continuation of print introduced in June featuring the same tagline. Research conducted by Mullen indicated consumers were wary of purchasing used vehicles. “People were afraid of inheriting someone else’s problem,” said Brad Audet, agency account manager on the campaign.

The ads are running in USA Today and daily newspapers in 10 target markets, including Boston. Mullen handles me dia chores.

Sixty-second radio spots running in target markets use a “right way vs. wrong way” ap proach. One, set in an operating room, compares two hearts ready for transplant—one from a vegetarian, nonsmoking athlete and another of uncertain origins. A second ad uses divers about to dive into two different shark cages: one made of top-of-the-line graphite with double-reinforced bars and another that will be fine “just as long as you get someone to hold the door shut.”

A voiceover says, “There’s the right way, and there’s the wrong way.”

The shop garnered the GM-certified used-vehicle business in 1996. Spending in 1997 exceeded $10 million, but it has drop ped into the $1-2 million range in recent years, per CMR.

Creative cre dits include art director Paul Laffy; copywriters Marty Senn (print) and Brian Hayes (radio); and photographer Simon Harsent. The Wenham, Mass., agency also handles advertising for General Motors’ MasterCard business.