Olds Takes A New Route With Bravada

By Tanya Gazdik

DETROIT–General Motors’ Oldsmobile division is trying a new approach with its advertising for the Bravada sport utility vehicle, authorizing two campaigns and keeping one on deck.

National Olds agency Leo Burnett, Chicago, has created two separate campaigns, one that will break in the near future and another that will go into testing at the same time, according to sources close to the project.

It’s possible that the campaign scheduled to break either late this week or next week could be replaced in several months by the campaign that is being tested. Olds marketing services manager Steve Shannon declined comment on the two separate campaigns, but did confirm that one of the two efforts features character actor Steve Hytner, who plays a struggling comic on the sitcom Seinfeld.

Sources said the willingness to spend money on the development of two separate campaigns indicates that Olds is allocating more money for advertising this year than the $115 million Competitive Media Reporting shows it spent in 1996.

Meanwhile, Leo Burnett is completing a campaign for the division’s flagship luxury car, the Aurora. Television spots scheduled to break in mid-June will hark back to the unique campaign for the vehicle’s launch in 1994 and will feature extensive special effects, Shannon said. The ’94 campaign used computerized images.

A themeline is still being tested but will emphasize the vehicle owners’ desire to express their individuality, he said.

‘Over the life of the car, as we tried to do more things or tell more information, we probably strayed a little bit from what had been successful,’ Shannon said. ‘So this new work in June is a return, kind of conceptually, to the original work from ’94.’

The division also breaks three 30-second spots for its Silhouette minivan this week with the themeline ‘Creature comforts for everyone.’ All three spots feature talking monkeys and penguins.

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