OnStar Names Marketing Chief, Prepares TV Push

DETROIT General Motors’ OnStar unit will break new TV ads next month and has named Andy Young director of marketing communica-

Young replaces Chris Hamer, who moved to GM’s Cadillac division Aug. 1. Previously OnStar’s advertising manager, Young will now set the overall direction of OnStar’s brand message and lead all advertising, Internet, event, promotions and subscriber publishing programs.

Meanwhile, the unit is expanding its reality advertising from radio and print to TV with the first in a series of spots breaking Sept. 21 on Fox during the Emmy Awards.

Five 15-second spots from Interpublic Group’s Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., will feature true stories to demonstrate some of the benefits of OnStar’s safety and security services. Like the radio spots, which broke late in 2002, the TV ads replay actual recordings of subscriber calls to OnStar advisors. The tag has been, “OnStar. Always there, always ready.”

GM spent $12 million in measured media advertising for OnStar in 2002 but spending has risen to almost $10 million for the first five months of 2003, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

Print ads will continue to run in national women’s publications including Family Fun, Working Mom, Better Homes & Gardens, Oprah and weeklies such as Time, Newsweek and People. The campaign also includes Internet banners.

OnStar is available on a range of vehicles from seven automakers, including GM and others. The subscriber-based service provides safety, security and information services using the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite network and wireless technology. Services include automatic notification of air bag deployment, stolen vehicle assistance, emergency services, roadside assistance with location, remote door unlock, remote diagnostics, route support, OnStar concierge and convenience services.

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