• Nov 16, 2007
Pontiac has been revamping its brand, cutting the ass-ugly (Aztek, Montana) and adding the badass (G8, Solstice GXP). There's a strong desire to shift the median buyer age down. The effort's already underway, and has seen some success thus far, but Pontiac wants the coveted younger buyer. In the interest of getting the Pontiac name in front of their intended buyer, the division is actually cutting back on traditional advertising efforts. Huh? Well, how many 20-somethings do you know who watch Dateline? Right.

Think of it as a one-two punch from Pontiac. The first part is creating compelling product, which we've all been watching intently. The line's been purged of bad ideas, and a strong styling direction has taken hold. Excitement surrounds the launch of the G8 sedan, and the G6 has made us forget all about vehicles like the Sunfire. Okay, the G5 isn't helping matters, but the rest of the lineup is eye-catching and well turned out. Some brand watchers knock Pontiac for not retaining owners over the last ten years, but the brand has undergone some considerable change. We'd expect that buyers turned on by the Trans Sport aren't the same people that get excited by the impending awesomeness that is the G8.

[Source: Advertising Age]



Traditional broadcast media isn't being totally avoided, but Pontiac wants to be part of the content if it's going to be on TV. Witness the tie-in with Jimmy Kimmel, where musical guests are part of a Pontiac-branded showcase. Pontiac also has an ongoing relationship with the NCAA, and they've spread their partnership with college sports across game broadcasts, as well as integrating into the online aspect of those properties. There's an increasing push to an online presence for Pontiac, which is a shrewd move considering how integral the internets are to younger people.

It's really just advertising in a new and emergent medium. Buying banner ads is one thing, but Pontiac's taking an active part in Second Life, as well as a tie in with Halo 3. During the Halo promotion, traffic to Pontiac.com increased twenty percent, indicating that while the advertising budget is down this year, the money is being effectively spent. Now that the model line has generated buzz with impending arrival of what could be a bargain priced Euro-stomper, we'll have to see if it's all enough to turn a decade-long sales slide around.


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  • 28 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Pontiac needs a new styling direction in my view...That "Bird look" , associated with the G6 and the Grand Prix are sooo 1990s...And GM should cut back on the rental fleet sales to car rental companies..This should sure-up the resale values on those babies...
      • 7 Years Ago
      GM is definitely going in the right direction with Pontiac. Rear wheel drive performance across the board, please. We've got two 3-series that will need replacing in a year or two and I am more than open to getting a Pontiac IF it looks good, has rear-wheel drive, a stick, and seats 4. When I was a kid, Pontiacs where some of the coolest cars on the road. I would sure like to see them get their cajones back.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This article is TEXTBOOK of what lured me back to Pontiac. The cars they are coming out with a freekin' sweet! This led me to check out the trendy new website as well as hit the showroom floor. My new loaded Torrent GXP is rolling down the assembly line this week; I CAN'T WAIT to get it in a few weeks! 0-60 in 6.9 seconds, AWD, 264 HP, 3500 lbs. towing, racy exterior / interior... YUM!
        • 7 Years Ago
        That's a very nice vehicle Ryan. I'm an engineering student at that factory and we were all blown away by how nice it is. From the interior to the exterior to the performance, it's very sweet. We're commited to quality at our plant so be sure to let us know if you find something wrong with your new ride.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I just cant defend my girlfreinds sunfire...its held together pretty well at 120k but the interior is...well guys its freakin terrible. Now the G5 may look like a snore, and in fact it is...but its a hell of a lot better of a car on the inside.
        • 7 Years Ago
        ditto on the sunfire. After riding in a friend's for about 10 minutes, I wanted to rip the interior apart just so I didn't have to look at it. And I usually don't even mind ugly interiors.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Now if they made the hard top version of the Solstice I'd be a happy camper. Because that had some really nice lines. GM get a move on. The world is passing you by.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I love my 2005 G6, 50,000 miles and I haven't had a single problem with it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The two words that have me interested in buying a new Poncho......G 8
      • 7 Years Ago
      To Frank,

      that car right there on the picture is one of a very few things GM has going in right direction. They need to put money into those cars, not into yet another SUV. You can bet that cars like that red Mullett Solstice will bring people to the dealership…..yet another SUV will not do it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      When is Oprah gonna give a few hundred more G6's away again? My other one is falling apart around me and it's only 2 years old. I've done ball joints, a rear wheel bearing, a head unit and a wiper motor in 40k miles. How about a real manual transmission because I am sick and tired of replacing the damn automatics (I'm on my 3rd). And why do both dealerships employ only pompous A-holes who know nothing about the product they sell? Can't get much help from a website.
      • 7 Years Ago
      GM put his foot in his mouth by not offering a MT with its V-8 G8... Contrary to the Australian and U.K. deciders.

      Sorry if I didn't read all previous comments...

      • 7 Years Ago
      As nice as the Holden is/are (I've heard about their horrible reliability) all I know about Pontiac is the bad build. My step sister bought a new Grand Prix a few years back and recently sold while cursing about the mess of problems that plagued her. She has since sold it and bought a Honda I beleive.

      So sure, the G8 is hot, but I'd be too hesitant to buy it because of Pontiac's history.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I always thought it was hilariously stupid how GM and Ford would advertise a lot on networks that continually ran anti-GM/Ford elements in their news or magazine shows. They'd spend billions each year when they could just pull the ads and let the network-wankers starve.
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