Chevy budgets more than $150 million for Malibu ads

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 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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