PONTIAC ABANDONS 'SOUL,' TAKES 'ACTION'

Third Tagline in Three Years Launches New G6

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DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- Changing its promotional slogan for the third time in three years, General Motors Corp.'s Pontiac division is launching its new
Pontiac believes the new G6 will be its best seller.
G6 sedan under the new tagline "Action," the company announced.

The previous tagline for Pontiac was "Fuel for the Soul" and, before that, "Pass It On."

NCAA football
Created by Publicis Groupe's Chemistri of Troy, Mich., the first spots for the G6 hit during the Sept. 4 National Collegiate Athletic Association football broadcasts on ABC and ESPN, both part of Walt Disney Co.

The sporty G6 is the first in a series of new Pontiac models slated for introduction over the next 12 months, including a 300-horsepower Grand Prix.

Mark-Hans Richer, director of advertising at Pontiac, said "Fuel for the Soul" was used to "re-establish Pontiac's basic performance and emotional connection." He said the new theme reflects his target buyers, who are "restless, who need to take advantage of life's opportunities, often with their car."

'Cheating on your car'
"You're cheating on your car just looking at it," says the headline of one G6 magazine ad that toys with the concept of automotive infidelity.

Mr. Richer declined to discuss spending on G6's integrated campaign, which will include national magazine ads, large outdoor ads on buildings in major markets and XM Satellite Radio, in which GM holds a stake. But he said the car's marketing budget would reflect the importance of the G6.

Pontiac expects G6 to become its top seller when the convertible and coupe versions arrive in 2005. The company said annual sales could top 200,000 units.

Current Pontiac sales
GM said current Pontiac sales through August rose by 8.4% to 335,311 units from a year ago, although the monthly tally of 39,067 units was 6.4% fewer than August 2003.

Mr. Richer expects half of the G6 buyers to be male, representing a higher percentage than men who bought the car's predecessor, the Grand Am.

During the Olympics, a pair of teaser ads using The Clash song "Should I Stay or Should I Go" directed viewers to FirstEverG6.com. The Web site, which went up in January, had more than 50,000 unique visitors through September, Mr. Richer said.

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