GM READIES NEW YEAR'S TIMES SQUARE AD EXTRAVAGANZA

Chevy Tahoe Promotion Includes Sinage, Branded Stage, Media Blitz

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DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- As the country rings in 2006, Chevrolet will be pitching its 2007 model Tahoe from Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
Chevrolet is the presenting sponsor of “NBC’s New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly” and is making ad buys that night on ABC, Fox, Telemundo, Telefutura and Galavision.
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As part of the push for the sport utility vehicle, the General Motors Corp. brand will suspend two Tahoes above a Chevrolet-branded stage where singer Mary J. Blige will perform live. Outdoor ads for the 2007-model Tahoe will appear on Reuters’ Jumbotron, ABC Studio’s super-sign and ball-drop video monitors. The marketer will also distribute free Chevrolet-branded New Year’s Eve hats, headbands and confetti.

Media blitz
Chevrolet is the presenting named sponsor of “NBC’s New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly” and will advertise during the broadcast; it will also make ad buys that night on ABC, Fox, Telemundo, Telefutura and Galavision, as well as on New Year’s Day sponsorships of National Football League broadcasts and BET programming. On Jan. 1, newspapers in 29 markets will be delivered in a branded bag with the message “New Year. New Tahoe.”

“What’s bigger than New Year’s Eve, Times Square and the Chevy Tahoe?” asked Ed Peper, general manager for Chevrolet. He said the new Tahoe “deserves a dramatic entrance.”

The Tahoe is one of the industry’s best-selling big SUVs. But its sales, along with others in the segment, have suffered in the wake of rising gas prices. Chevrolet said it sold 137,399 Tahoes in the U.S. through November in the U.S., nearly 19% fewer than the same period a year ago.

Redone truck models for '06
Next year, Chevrolet will also launch three other crucial, redone truck models: the Suburban SUV, Avalanche pickup-SUV model and Silverado full-size pickup. Of those three models, only the Silverado pickup posted a sales increase in the first 11 months of 2005, GM reported.

Troubled GM is trying to return to profitability globally and it has lost more than $4 billion in its North America auto operations alone in the first three quarters of 2005. Since new vehicle models typically can take three years or more to develop, GM’s new trucks were already in the pipeline.

Chevrolet said it will launch a new brand campaign with the Tahoe that shows a mysterious black box being handed off from driver to driver. The work, from Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., will be adapted for other Chevrolet-sponsored media events like the Winter Olympics.

The brand spent $556.5 million in measured media in the first nine months of 2005, according to TNS Media Intelligence. GM said Chevrolet car and trucks sales slipped through November by 2.5% to 2.4 million units compared to a year ago.

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