The overhaul of General Motors' marketing battle plan isn't finished. The Wall Street Journal reports that Joel Ewanick, GM's global marketing chief, is giving the brand a hiatus from Super Bowl advertising, believing it's just got too expensive and that variety is called for. Thirty-second spots for next year's big game are projected to cost $3.8 million.
The development comes quickly after GM decided to stop buying ads on Facebook citing a lack of effectiveness (to which Ford responded), and comes during a year of realignment efforts throughout the company: a global review of accounts began earlier this year and some were quickly let go, a brand new agency was created for Chevrolet and set up shop in Detroit, and personnel are being realigned.

The General's global ad spend in 2011 was $4.7 billion, and word is that GM doesn't plan on spending less, it only wishes to spend better – Ewanick says the changes made so far will net the company $2 billion in savings over the next five years. It's clear he's looking to unlock more efficiencies; observers say that GM is also trying to improve its ad performance overseas and find better ways to reach demographics that have migrated in all directions and to all media.


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  • 40 Comments
      gork
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm curious if GM's actions are signalling a bubble in advert rates, both for the Super Bowl and for FB?
        TrueDat
        • 2 Years Ago
        @gork
        for facebook, definitely. most of us here on on facebook i would assume. do you remember the last ad you saw on facebook? i don't... and i've certainly never bought anything because of an ad on facebook. and that's why they went public because they know advertisements are going to decrease. on a side note, the only reason facebook closed on a positive after its first day is because banks kept it artificially high. today, it's already down almost 5 points....
      nitrostreet
      • 2 Years Ago
      I had read awhile back about some advertisers including GM starting to lean towards the March madness advertising being way more bang for the buck than the Superbowl due to the way the advertising can be focused better regionally, and also the month-long VS 1 day long Superbowl ad. http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/nothing-net-march-madness-winning-investment-139073
        • 2 Years Ago
        @nitrostreet
        [blocked]
      chickenflauta
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hmmm... You would be hard pressed to challenge the long-term benefits of Ford's digital/social media strategy, or how much Chrysler's Super Bowl "Detroit" campaign helped to rebuild the brand in the minds of consumers. So I wish GM luck in its marketing overhaul, but I'm worried that in focusing so much on profits and short-term sales, GM will miss the benefits of these longer-term branding activities that many other competitor automakers see value in.
        Nemebean
        • 2 Years Ago
        @chickenflauta
        True but if I remember correctly some of GM's ads last year actually drove traffic to their competitors' websites, so it's probably a good decision to take a step back and rethink their strategy. My perception right now is that Chrysler owns the Super Bowl, Ford owns Facebook, and GM needs to find their advertising strength. It's probably not a coincidence that they're getting out of both of those areas.
      thedriveatfive
      • 2 Years Ago
      Great move, 30sec on the super bowl wont be remembered after 30 other great adds, but that amount of money can buy hours of normal primetime slots.
      J D
      • 2 Years Ago
      Since every media outlet in the known universe has printed or done a video segment on GM's so-called "announcement" about not advertising on fakebook or the superdeduperbowl, they've manged to get about $50 million worth of free brand exposure. Marketing 101 - the best way to advertise: a press release.
        chickenflauta
        • 2 Years Ago
        @J D
        Ha. Dunno what marketing class you took. A press release about advertising says nothing about their products and why people should buy them or think differently about them. That in and of itself does nothing for GM's bottom line.
      ernie mccracken
      • 2 Years Ago
      Doing a super bowl ad is always a bad idea.
      Keith Nielsen
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good! Save your money and produce some fun RWD cars!
      Autoblogist
      • 2 Years Ago
      I wonder if this move is more Dan Hacker-son's idea than Ewanick.
        AMG THIS
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Autoblogist
        It isn't Akerson because its actually a good idea to do this. They have ALL the data and if FB and SB ads cost the most and show minimal ROI then it means try something different. They now have 2 billion to drop on new advertising ideas.
      protovici
      • 2 Years Ago
      How about building cars people want to buy? That can save billions in advertising. If you build it, they will come....
        TrueDat
        • 2 Years Ago
        @protovici
        they're the number 1 automaker in north america, so apparently they're building cars people want...
          Nemebean
          • 2 Years Ago
          @TrueDat
          Ford used to have more brands (as did GM, of course). How'd that work out for them? More brands != more sales. Not necessarily, at least.
          merlot066
          • 2 Years Ago
          @TrueDat
          Yes, but with four brands. Ford and Toyota are catching up to them every month with only two brands (and if you say that Buick and Cadillac are dragging GM down because they're waiting for new models then I'd like to point your attention to Lincoln)
        • 2 Years Ago
        @protovici
        [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      diffrunt
      • 2 Years Ago
      Really good cars will sell themselves , like the Equinox.
      Oolly
      • 2 Years Ago
      Product is more important than ads. The new Malibu would not likely get many additional buyers from Superbowl ads, and any awareness would be most likely be negative. When your product in near the bottom of its class there is not a lot ads can do for it.
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