Oldsmobile Tunes In to Tom Joyner

GM Division Targeting African Americans in Promo from E. Morris
CHICAGO–E. Morris Communications here uses a tie-in with Tom Joyner’s nationally syndicated radio show to promote Oldsmobile to an African American audience.
EMC’s work is its first major effort for the General Motors division since winning African American marketing duties on the brand about two years ago following a review.
Olds will sponsor a number of “road shows” for Joyner, in which the brand will back a portion of the show called “Real Fathers, Real Men,” according to Eugene Morris, the agency’s president and chief executive officer.
The segment will honor African American fathers, with one being selected each week for a $500 prize. At year’s end a grand prize winner will drive home a new Oldsmobile.
EMC also plans a TV, print and radio campaign for the fall backing Olds’ Intrique and Bravada models.
“This is a first step at really getting Olds focused toward the African American market,” Morris said.
Last fall, the Leo Burnett Hispanic unit of Olds’ lead agency Leo Burnett, Chicago, produced a campaign for the Alero.
Separately, Burnett last week launched a series of 15-second TV spots for the Intrigue. The first of seven spots broke last week, kicking off the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament. They will continue to air for the next three months, according to a Burnett representative.
The campaign carries a consistent image and feel throughout the spots with a close front or rear shot of the Intrigue and the growl of the V6 engine. One spot, titled “Behind It,” tells the audience, “If you’re not in it … you’re behind it.” Another spot zooms in for a tight shot of the vehicle’s front end, as the voiceover says, “If you look really closely, it looks like it’s smiling.”
While the spots are only 15 seconds long, they don’t just provide quick, in-and-out messages, said Charley Wickman, vice president and creative director at Burnett. Rather, he said, they communicate a lot about the brand and leave viewers with something to think about.
The spots make use of the “Start something” tagline developed two years ago for the Alero. Oldsmobile has now decided to use that line for the entire division.