GM Will Increase Marketing Budget in 2009 and 2010
By Brendan Moore
GM announced that it plans to significantly increase its ad spending for the rest of 2009 and all of 2010 in order to attack assumptions now held about its cars and trucks.
Specifically, GM wants to change negative perceptions about quality and fuel economy regarding their vehicles. GM, and Bob Lutz, GM’s new marketing head, feel that GM has a great story to tell about its improved lineup – a story that Lutz feels hasn’t been told effectively by recent advertising on behalf of GM.
GM spent $1.81 billion USD in 2007 in advertising, which is the last year numbers are available for; 2008 ad spending took huge hits, and 2009 dropped even more as a result of bankruptcy. GM has dropped many sport sponsorships this year, including the Buick Open, and had also declined to advertise during the upcoming Super Bowl.
No numbers or percentage increases were mentioned concerning GM’s planned increase in marketing expenditures in the next 16 months.
It is no secret that Lutz plans to run ads directly comparing GM cars to their competition, even if some competitors’ feelings get hurt in the process. The question is how those ads will be shaped.
Lutz has been deeply critical of recent GM advertising that he feels was vague and unfocused. The recent Buick ad set in a studio where a Buick commercial was being filmed came in for special criticism from Lutz. “It makes me cringe to watch,” he said. “Car ads about car ads, it seems to me are not what we should be doing.”
Lutz did say, however, that GM would keep using its current lineup of large advertising agencies that includes Leo Burnett Group and Campbell-Ewald.
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