General Motors is back and back big in this year's Super Bowl. The automaker will have eight 30-second ads in and around the game, including the pre-game show.
GM marketing chief Joel Ewanick, who came to GM in April 2010 from Hyundai, with a short six-week stint at Nissan in between, is big on big media venues. He likes the Super Bowl, Academy Awards, Olympics, Presidential debates and the like.
Don't look for big yucks, though, which is a mainstay of Super Bowl ad themes. All of the ads will be for Chevrolet, with ads by San Francisco ad agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, which launched the "Chevy Runs Deep" campaign last fall.
Ewanick told the agency to focus on telling stories that convey information and product benefits about Chevy's newest and most important vehicles – the Volt, Cruze and Silverado pickup. There are two ads running in pre-game, five within the game and one during the post game show.
"We're looking to win the day," said Chevy marketing director Chris Perry. Among auto marketers, Chevy will be competing against Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, BMW, Kia and Chrysler. Toyota, Honda and Ford, which have bought time in the past, are sitting this year out.
Chrysler, the only U.S. automaker to show up in the last Super Bowl broadcast with a single ad for Dodge, is back with ads for both Dodge and Chrysler brands. Audi of America is making its fourth consecutive Super Bowl appearance and will be in the game's first commercial break. Chevy ads will continue in a special post-game episode of the hit show Glee.
It would be a surprise for one of the car makers to take a prize as "Best-in-Game." "Super Bowl car ads are pretty much dead on arrival for ad likability," said Chuck Tomkovick, a marketing professor at University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire.
Arguably, the two brands with the best chance of scoring high with viewers are Kia and Dodge. Kia has been a crowd pleaser the last two years with ads featuring driving hamsters and toys that come to life. And Dodge had one of the most memorable car ads of 2010 featuring George Washington leading a column of Dodge Challengers into battle against the British redcoats.
We showed you this yesterday, but here again is one of the eight ads from GM that will air on Sunday. It is actually a commercial that teases the Chevy Camaro in this summer's Transformers movie.