GM Takes to Super Bowl, Too

General Motors plans to air three different commercials during the Super Bowl, including a corporate spot and one prepared for Chevrolet by a creative team ofCalifornia students.

Michael Jackson, GM's vice president of advertising, said the corporate spot on the Super Bowl broadcast will kick off a new campaign, touting the benefits of GM's new extended warranty program. GM announced the new transferable, five-year or 100,000-mile warranties on 2007 models back in September and the new warranty has become an effective closing tool for dealers, according to Mark LaNeve, GM's vice president for sales, service and marketing.

The second Super Bowl spot, featuring Chevrolet, Jackson said, was prepared by a team of students, in a competition that attracted more than 800 teams from 450 different universities. The competition has been so successful that it has been copied by other marketers and has been featured on the CBS Morning News, which has been following one of the creative teams.

The other unique aspect of the Super Bowl competition was that the advertisements seeking participants ran only on the Internet, Jackson said. More and more of GM's launch efforts particularly for brands such as Pontiac and Saturn will migrate to the Web, he said.

Jackson, however, declined to identify the focus on the third spot, though it most likely will be Cadillac, which has been a perennial Super Bowl advertiser over the years. GM officials, however, declined to confirm Cadillac will be featured on the 2007 Super Bowl telecast.

GM also is prepared to use comparative advertising if necessary to fight off the challenge from the new Toyota Tundra, Jackson said. "We are going to do whatever it takes to protect our core business in large pickup trucks and large SUVS," Jackson said. Jackson added that the new truck advertising campaign, introducing the new Chevrolet Silverado and featuring music from John Mellencamp, has been an unqualified success.

Jackson also said the GM Style event on the eve of the North American International Auto Show was big success and helped set the stage for the reveals during the show and put a little more polish on GM overall image. "It was a very, very successful week," said Jackson, who is credited with coming up with idea for the Style event.

"We understand it’s all about product and we know we're making some of the best product in this company’s history," he said. The key now is get on the personal shopping lists of potential buyers, he said.


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