Pontiac's True Believer

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Name: Dino Bernacchi


Age: 34


Who he is: Advertising manager of the Pontiac-GMC division of General Motors Corp.


Where he's from: He joined GM in August of 2000 from Visteon Corp., where he was the advertising/marketing manager. Bernacchi cut his teeth on the ad agency side, doing stints at several shops, including Campbell-Ewald where he helped launch 18 products for Chevrolet.


What he's done: Bernacchi presided over the integration of the vintage Pontiac GTO in Revolution Studio's theatrical and DVD releases of Vin Diesel smash "XXX" in 2002. The recent USA Network made-for-TV movie "The Last Ride," created by Pontiac in conjunction with NBC Universal Television has generated tens of thousands of leads. "We found that in the three weeks we did this, this was the single-largest lead-generating online promotion that we've ever done. That includes 'XXX.'" Bernacchi also reported that tracking studies indicate that opinion and purchase consideration metrics both spiked in a positive direction significantly due to the project.


What's next: "We have to quit looking at advertising as 30-second units; the term marketing more than advertising is the appropriate word. It's how you extend your brand—I don't care if it's video games, movies, television, or what it is. At a brand like Pontiac, we're not the biggest kahuna out there, so we fight and claw for attention every day." Bernacchi points to the DVD release of "The Last Ride" in November as Pontiac gears up for some product launches.


Stock-in-trade: "I can't sell kitty litter or toilet paper—if you want me to I can—but I don't think I'm going to break through and try to find new, innovative ways. I have a passion for the car business. It makes me relentless, tenacious and creative. I know 'Smokey and the Bandit'[which featured the Pontiac Trans Am in the '70's] impacted me. My wife hates it when I pull out that movie to watch it [every once in a while.]"

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