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Remember a couple of months ago when we were impressed with GM's plan to spend $100 million on the 2008 Chevy Malibu ad campaign? We were wrong. Try more than $150 million, which is pretty close to the $165 million GM now spends on the Silverado campaign.

Advertising Age says the campaign, called "The Car You Can't Ignore," will have three phases, with the goal of busting the myth that Detroit autos aren't up to world standards. The first phase has kicked off, with a massive online blitz of Web portal ads (you may have noticed them, well, here) that GM hopes will send at least 5 million viewers to chevy.com every day. Also expect to see nationwide billboards, print ads, building wraps and TV spots. One ad is said to say, "We're tired of being a foreign car in our own country."

[Source: Advertising Age]



Phase two, called "Reveal," will use ads quoting positive reviews of the new Malibu to generate buyer interest. GM wouldn't tell AdAge much about phase three, but did say it would involve national TV spots and, according to AdAge, a program "to get consumers to experience the car." Overnight take-homes? Camry comparisons? Licking contests? We'll know soon enough.

Everything about this imminent onslaught of Malibu marketing intends to do one thing: Recapture all those buyers who gave up on domestics years ago. Kim Kosak, Chevy's general director for advertising and sales promotions told AdAge, "We're going to shock the system and get their attention because we're not on their radar screen."

We have a meeting with the new Malibu in a couple of weeks penciled in on the Autoblog calendar and truly hope our systems are shocked. From the photos we've seen, and from the cars we've inspected (but not driven) in person, Toyota, Honda and all the rest may very well be in for some solid American competition.


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  • 61 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Maybe if it wasn't so fugly I would take a look at it.

      I despise that front grill.
        • 7 Years Ago
        which one? There are so many.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm not a GM by any means, but this time they have a winner on their hands. The Aura started out GM's revival, now the Malibu steps in with a crisp, fresh new look. They shouldn't put so much money into advertising this particular Malibu, it's far superior to it predecessors. With it's far more appealing exterior and more upscale interior for a car in it's price range, it will be a far more competitive car to the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.
      • 7 Years Ago
      GM has over-promised and under-delivered so often a $150-million advertising budget is necessary to overcome the market's skepticism. Once burned, twice shy.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Ugh, very dated, ugly design in my opinion. They should have spent a good chunk of that money on a design team, that would really help this car more so than advertising.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Let's Brace Ourselves For the Ultimate N.A. Smackdown!!!

      Chevrolet, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, & Toyota (soon Mazda) all competing for a place in your driveway with new products, built-in-the-USA pedigree and enough capacity to flood the market with product.

      Will the war be won on:

      1) Brand loyalty
      2) Marketing
      3) Price
      4) Resale value
      5) Product quality

      I hope GM product planners implement a product lifecycle plan for the Malibu which includes a steady rollout of variants (sportswagon, Hybrid, SS, 6spd manual) to remove any reason for considering another brand.

      Making the Malibu the best product in it's class bar-none would send a strong message that "GM gets it" and is on the right track.

      I read that Toyota has so much cash on hand, that they could starve out GM on the fullsize truck and family car segment by forcing them to compete on price alone. However, they won't because they don't want to be identified as the car company that brought down GM in the USA.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Agreed. No manual (or DSG) transmission, no sale.
      • 7 Years Ago
      $150 million for these World Seriies TV ads for Malibu? They're insulting to law enforcement and to bankers. So not funny and are more annoying each time they are shown on TV. How sad that this amount of money is spent on such low-brow advertising.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The only people that will be happy about this car are the people billing GM for the advertising campaign.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't really get the "We're tired of being a foreign car in our own country." line. At least, I think it refers to the fact that it isn't as well known in its own country as its foreign competitors, but I feel like it could be taken as "most of this car is built outside of the US" whether that's true or not.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Apparently "our country" means North America instead of America
      • 7 Years Ago
      So I decided to be one of the 5 million to peep this this sunday. I get there and like always I click build my Car button. I look at the models offered.

      Reference--- I always have to pretend that i am building my dream ___(fill in black here)______car. So I go for the top of the line LTZ model. HMMM no SS. BooooHoooo, wheres the V-8 GM?

      Alright I quote the description, "Ecotec DOHC V-6 four cylinder...I think to my self never heard of one of those!!!!!

      Good thing they all that money to spend to get it right!

      Typical GM everything hastily done. The interior is like 9 colors. Its advertised at 2 I thought.

      Another piss poor attempt!!!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's good they are spending the money, but I am not 100% convinced this product knocks it out of the park. For one thing, while I am pro-GM, I'm not totally sold on the looks of this car-admittedly while not having seen one in person-and I hope I'm wrong about that.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If you live in Michigan, you'll see 2 or 3 of these at every stoplight. If you live in Southern California, you will see one once every 2 or 3 weeks.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Phase three of the advertising is when the reveal that Tucan Sam is the new spokesbird for this model since they share the same beak! In my view this is one of the ugliest new cars in a long time. At least from the outside.

      Oh and I have to laugh when people say the style of a car or a sofa is sexy. If the trunk of a car turns you on you need to get out more.
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