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GM Backs Out Of Super Bowl Advertising

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On: Thu, May 24, 2012 at 5:15PM | By: Chris Weiss

GM Backs Out Of Super Bowl Advertising

After putting together a huge Super Bowl effort behind Chevy this past February, GM is bowing out of future Super Bowl advertising ... or so it says in the middle of May, nine months before the big game. According to an executive, the prices have gotten just too out of control for the world's largest/second largest automaker.

"We understand the reach the Super Bowl provides, but with the significant increase in price, we simply can’t justify the expense," GM’s marketing chief Joel Ewanick made clear in a statement. GM plans to bow out of the Super Bowl spotlight next year.

GM has had some experience with which to compare Super Bowl vs. non Super Bowl advertising. As it was spiraling into financial ruin in 2009, it took two years off of Super Bowl advertising, returning for the 2011 game.

This year, GM put together a big multimedia push behind Chevy, featuring five ads, an online video contest, a giveaway and more. Ewanick said before the game that GM expected 1.5 billion impressions of its message from its Super Bowl effort. Presumably, those 1.5 billion impressions didn't deliver at the dealerships, causing GM to be unable to "justify the expense."

Or maybe Ewanick is just positioning. If a couple of major traditional Super Bowl advertisers (GM is the third largest, according to Forbes) jump on the "maybe we'll skip it this year" bandwagon, perhaps prices will come down. We don't necessarily expect any bowling pin effect, but it does seem rather early for Super Bowl announcements.

After the disappointing Happy Grad spot and that weird Volt alien commercial, we probably won't miss GM all that much during next year's game. Other car companies like Chrysler, Volkswagen and Honda have scored big in our book, but GM has been rather “bleh.” We'll see if GM follows up by pulling out of its Super Bowl MVP award - last year Eli Manning got the keys to a 2012 Corvette Grand Sport Convertible.


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