By on May 18, 2012

With GM now dropping out of Super Bowl advertising, what’s next for the marketing bigwigs at the Ren Cen? And yes, I’ll take the Storm, thank you very much.

A report in the Wall Street Journal outlines GM’s plans for Superbowl Sunday.

Super Bowl advertising is effective but has become too expensive to justify the cost, GM’s global marketing chief, Joel Ewanick, said in an interview. Buyers say ads for next year’s National Football League championship game—which is being broadcast by CBS—are so far selling for about $3.8 million for a 30-second spot.

Joel Ewanick, formerly at Hyundai, was once a believer in the efficacy of Super Bowl ads, and Hyundai’s been no stranger to them either. Perhaps we’ll see more details shake out in the next few days. Unlike Facebook, the Super Bowl seems to be a much more effective medium than a tiny ad space on a social network.


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27 Comments on “GM Won’t Be Advertising On Super Bowl Sunday Either...”

  • avatar

    Doesn’t GM have a new generation of pickups due to be ready early next year? Trucks and Super Bowl go well together.

  • avatar
    Kirk Douglas

    How could you go wrong with just $98 a month?

  • avatar

    Good products need no advertising, isn’t it?

  • avatar
    John R

    What? No more condescending “These people make lawnmowers!” Howie Long ads?!? I kid, I kid.

  • avatar

    I realize the Cruze is light years beyond cheap late 80s J-body rides, but yes for $98 a month you really couldn’t go wrong. Whats a Cruze twenty two years later, $350/month with no money down?

    Ok just checked, Cruze LS w/auto, $17,600 msrp is $315/month over 60 months @ 2.9%

    We’ve come a long way from $98 a month… or have we?

  • avatar

    General Who ? Are they still around ? I thought they went bankrupt.

  • avatar

    they’ll be back next year

  • avatar

    This is one of those cases where I think GM is stupid to not do a Super Bowl ad. On the other hand, Super Bowl ads are becoming ridiculously expensive.

    This to me reads like a catch-22 damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

    Still GM should advertise there, if only because it’s something that people expect. They shouldn’t however try to dominate the screen time like they have in the past. 1 or 2 commercials (very very clever ones at that), not 20 or 30.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree. It might be a little unwise to drop out entirely. If they advertised something that the Superbowl audience would want to see/buy (like their trucks or SUVs/crossover) and just did one or two really good commercials, they’d probably do well.

      • 0 avatar

        Advertising usually is the key to selling, but in GM’s case, seeing a GM ad on any venue often brings out a host of negative reactions in mixed company, in many places other than the UAW strongholds.

        Bear with me here. This is not bashing. This weekend is a big to do in my town. Among things like Saturday in the park with a bunch of activities, Armed Forces Day with fly-overs by the military, and all the new car dealers have gathered at the Fair Grounds to put on a sales event and display their new cars. The idea is to sell cars and putting them all in one place.

        It really is a big thing for a small town like ours. But in the previous two years, the number of folks looking over the GM products at this annual event wasn’t near as big as those looking over the goods from Ford, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Chrysler, Dodge, RAM and Jeep.

        For many people, just seeing GM products brings out a bunch of nasty comments. It’s a good thing that the GM dealer here sells other brands as well, else they would have gone belly-up from lack of GM sales.

        You can’t make a living just selling to the GM loyalists. There aren’t enough of them to pay the bills and keep the lights on.

        The 2012 Silverados are advertised in the El Paso Times for $11250 off MSRP. This is only May. Highly unusual to see such heavy discounting, “with many to choose from”. Usually these discounts happen starting the middle of August and go on until all the old models are sold.

        As of this date they’re still selling 2011 models. GM may have made a whole bunch of cars but they haven’t sold all of them they made. This year is shaping up to be as bad as last year.

        GM may have just decided that advertising at big events like the Superbowl may not net them as much in returns as it costs them to advertise. The bail-out and nationalization wound may still be too painful for most Americans to react favorably to GM’s ads.

        It is my opinion that things will get worse for GM before they get better. And I’m equally convinced that GM will never fail again because Congress will always be there to bail them out, just like the Post Office, Fannie and Freddie.

        So there really is no need for massive ad spending since it may be counter-productive and an unnecessary expense.

  • avatar

    In this day and age I sometimes wonder the effectiveness of Superbowl advertising, especially with cars. Sure the audience is big, but many advertisements in the show are extended online or incorporate the web in some other way. TV ads might work for things like beer and snack chips, but with cars the Internet is definitely the way to go.

    That said, I will sorta miss seeing fewer car commercials, at least from GM, come next February.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      A good Super Bowl ad can generate lots of buzz for a new product and a new direction. I thought the Volkswagen Passat pint-sized Darth Vader ad did a great job of letting the American public know that Volkswagen had designed a new Passat and it is big and reasonably attractive. The Kia Optima dream car for real life works because the car itself looks great. The problem for GM is what new photogenic products do they have that could benefit from Super Bowl exposure?

  • avatar

    This coupled with the cessation of facebook advertising is suspicious. Is GM cutting the marketing budget by $20 million or did GM actually make an intelligent analysis of effective advertising mediums?

    • 0 avatar

      I’d like to think it was an intelligent analysis of effective advertising mediums, simply because I don’t see how Facebook can be “sticky” for actual buyers. I don’t think GM cut the budget. What I do fear is that Ewanick didn’t want all eyes focused on another lousy commercial that says GM is officially out of ideas.

  • avatar

    I wonder if some of this was a result of the legitimate criticism Chrysler received for making their last Super Bowl ad a taxpayer-funded campaign commercial for Obama’s reelection.

    • 0 avatar

      “…legitimate criticism Chrysler received …”

      That could very well be, but, in retrospect, that criticism of Chrysler also appears to have been misdirected and misplaced. Look at Chrysler go now! Chrysler is putting out the best products of their entire history. Walter Chrysler would be proud!

      I’m not just saying that because, besides me, I know of three other individuals here who recently purchased a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I’m saying it because Chrysler sales everywhere are outstanding!

      • 0 avatar

        Chrysler sales are indeed an oddity of late, esp since their lineup is so dated (300 dates from 2005, vans from maybe 07, Liberty is a reworked 01, Sebring is reworked 05 design) and filled with thirstier large segment offerings. Only now are they rolling out a small C segment car for the first time in I think seven years (unless the PT Cruiser sounds in that segment, at which point five years). Chrysler just refuses die, keeps coming back for more, very admirable.

      • 0 avatar

        28-cars-later, the way I see it, Chrysler is doing well because for the first time in its history it has a real leader in Sergio who told the UAW to piss off and let it be known who’s boss.

        It is unlikely that the UAW would strike themselves as part-owners in the Chrysler subdivision or collectively bargain themselves into bankruptcy again with demands for higher wages and better benefits.

        And when everyone is pulling in the same direction, the company forges ahead. To me this is the ideal example of what we should have done with GM as well.

        Imagine if we had pimped GM to China, or bribed China to take GM off our hands. We would no longer be faced with having to bail them out again in the future and the Chinese owners would have told the UAW where to get off and made changes to GM that would insure its future success, just like Sergio did with Chrysler.

  • avatar

    If the ad had simply been about “how great” Chrysler cars were, no one would have complained.

    The fact that it reeked of being a political ad, and that members of the “creative team” actually worked for Obama’s campaign rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.

    • 0 avatar

      I understand that. I’m no Obama supporter, I assure you, but that did not deter me from buying a 2012 JGC because of its merits. (Not the ad).

      Our JGC was bought to replace my wife’s 2008 Highlander AWD Limited. That should tell ANY Toyota fan that the JGC is a serious contender since our Highlander has been the perfect, trouble-free vehicle any owner can appreciate.

      My guess would be that all those people who put their hard-earned money on Chrysler products of today did so not because of the Obama aspect of the ad, but more so because they liked what they saw when they checked out the new products from Fiatsler.

      Since Sergio and Fiat took Chrysler in as a subdivision, the influence of the UAW has been minimized while the build-quality has been maximized.

      The 300, 200 and JGC are clearly the best and most popular products for the Chrysler subdivision and they’re cranking up output by staying open during the summer.

      Some pickup fans have posted that the new RAM is the best truck yet from the Chrysler subdivision, and that is saying something considering the track record of the previous editions of the RAM.

      • 0 avatar

        Be careful there, highdesertcat. I bet Sweet Pete DeLorenzo of Autoextremist is watching, and he thinks you’re a Chrysler sockpuppet. The xenophobic weekly venom he spews at Fiat and Marchionne is frightening.

      • 0 avatar

        bomberpete, Yeah, I read deLorenzo’s blog once a week to get caught up and I never was a Chrysler fan. I owned a total of eight used Jeep vehicles over the years and I thought all things Chrysler were crap. Hell, all things AMC were also crap. I had no expectations for Jeep.

        But my wife was smitten by the new Jeep Grand Cherokee when one caught her eye sitting on a flatbed in Phoenix, as we were driving on I-10 on our way home to New Mexico. We gave it a home when we took it home with us. I kept the Highlander, just in case.

        I have to give credit where credit is due. When Daimler owned Chrysler they continued to put out crap cars. Ditto with Cerberus.

        But now that Sergio has marginalized the UAW’s voice on the Board, Chrysler is beginning to put out some decent vehicles.

        Maybe that was all that was needed, to make the UAW part-owners in Chrysler since they are unlikely to strike themselves and demand pay raises and higher benefits that would collectively bargain themselves into bankruptcy again. Amazing turn-around!

        And the ironic part of this symbiotic relationship is that bailed out Chrysler is actually keeping owner-Fiat afloat with the profits generated by Chrysler auto and truck sales.

        Whooda thunk it? I’m no Chrysler fan but I give my woman whatever she wants. If that is a Jeep Grand Cherokee, it is a Jeep Grand Cherokee. But I’m surprised how good the new JGC is.

        Now I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that her Jeep Grand Cherokee will be at least as good as her 2008 Japan-built Highlander has been, because that Highlander continues to be perfect. I mean as in never having to go back to the dealer for warranty repair since we bought it in 2008.

        I can only hope but I’ll believe it when I see it. Even ONE warranty issue and I’ll trade it for a new one before the warranty expires.

        The way I figure it, Pete tells it like it is. I wish more people would call them as they see them. One company that really needs the treatment is GM.

        I firmly believe we, the people, should have pimped GM to China or India or any fool who would have them, just like we did with Chrysler, even if we had to bribe the takers with a few billion to get GM’s carcass off our hands, just like we did with Chrysler.

        That made all the difference in the world for Chrysler, for Fiat, and for we, the people. I don’t mind Chrysler being foreign-owned.

        In that respect they’re just like Toyota or Honda or any transplant, providing jobs for Americans making cars for Americans in America. That ain’t all bad.

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