The push broke on TV in May with the first three of five commercials. The fourth spot breaks this week.
GM spent most of its corporate ad dollars last year during the Summer Olympics broadcast on NBC, of which it was a sponsor.
"I think you'll see more than last year" from GM, said Dannielle Colliver, president of the Detroit office of N.W. Ayer & Partners. She declined to be more specific.
The automaker spent $22 million on corporate ads, according to Competitive Media Reports. That's a pittance compared to Nissan's current $200 million brand image push, although somewhat different in tone as well as scope.
GM's newest spot shows snippets of recent footage from virtually every GM car division and "lets the brands maintain their individuality," Ms. Colliver said.
She compared the fourth spot to "taking photographs of a family and then bringing them together as a family."
The fifth spot, expected in September, will be tied to GM's new Test Track ride and exhibit at Walt Disney World's Epcot Center.
The ads in GM's 1996 campaign-a warm-and-fuzzy consumer-focused effort-"weren't tied together," Ms. Colliver said. Research showed high recall of one 1996 TV spot but not for the entire campaign.
Unlike those spots, this year's creative uses the same music-the theme from "Driving Miss Daisy"-the same narrator and common ending. The campaign continues the "People in motion" tag Ayer developed last year.
The campaign tries to position GM "as the company you can trust for all your transportation needs over your lifetime," by highlighting GM's quality, reliability, durability, safety and innovation, said Luana Floccuzio, director of advertising for GM's North American Operations.
Seventy percent of the spending will go to TV, including prime-time network, cable, sports and awards programming, said Ms. Floccuzio.
Print advertising also is being used; Ayer developed a trio of three-page ad units, plus a trio of spreads.
The first three-page unit shows photos of a young woman and a child, and carries a safety message. It broke in mid-May newsweeklies and June monthlies, including Newsweek, People, Life and National Geographic. The second unit arrives in July monthlies; the third, September.
The front page of each carries the headline, "Is your automobile as devoted to you as you are to it?"
The first media flight continues through June and will return in the fall, said Ms. Floccuzio.
The campaign is expected to carry GM through the 1998 model year, although new