If you're a Pandora fan, prepare to get an earful about the Chevrolet Cruze today: Chevy has bought every ad spot the popular music streaming service has to offer, both on the Pandora website and its popular mobile app. Web visitors can expect to see Chevy ads cycle through their playlists at regular intervals, and smartphone owners will see banners like the one at left. Chevy will also run 30-second audio clips once an hour through midnight.
According to Brandweek magazine, this is the first such full-day buyout that Pandora has ever had, and it signals big things for both the music site and Chevrolet.
For Pandora, obviously, it's a sign that the company has reached the biggest of the big leagues. Longtime fans will recall the Pandora of years ago, peppered with ads for dodgy online colleges and start-ups we've never heard from again. Back then, the idea of America's biggest automaker buying every spot in Pandora's daily rotation would've made Bob Lutz choke on his own cigar. (Or foot.) Pandora's persistence -- online and in the courts -- has paid off.
For General Motors and Chevrolet, it's an even better sign. We may not always appreciate GM's traditional advertising -- in fact, the most recent "Chevy Runs Deep" ads left us kind of cold -- but on the social media front, the company has clearly been willing to take some risks. We were especially fond of the Chevy baseball app, and running ads on the Cool Hunting iPad app was a great way to put some color back in Cadillac's silvery 'do. We were even more impressed with Chevy's social media experiments during last spring's South By Southwest Festival.
We don't have the latest demo- or psychographic breakdowns on Pandora, but we're guessing it's a good match for the Cruze -- a solid, inexpensive sedan with some appeal for Generation Xers and Yers. This ad buy may not pay dividends right away, but combined with TV spots and the company's ongoing roadshow to hype next Thursday's IPO, it's a promising sign that GM has returned from the dark side.