In the first phase of a $70 million-plus launch for the General Motors Corp. division's top-of-line sedan, Pontiac ads will saturate mass-transit centers in markets that represent 16% of Bonneville sales.
KEY METRO SITES
Sites include the World Trade Center and Port Authority in New York, the 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, and Union Station and CitiCorp Center in Chicago.
Pontiac estimates that advertising will be seen by 1.5 million people per day.
Stan Fields, exec VP-group account director at agency D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Troy, Mich., said the transit-center advertising will be "very intrusive," including rafter banners, kiosks, clocks, wallscapes, escalator walls, transit platforms and dioramas.
"It was a way for us to just dominate these areas," Mr. Fields said.
The "domination outdoor" campaign will be augmented by regular boards in nine top markets, representing 30% of Bonneville sales: Atlanta, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Grand Rapids, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh and St. Louis.
PRINT BREAKS TODAY
The outdoor ads began appearing Oct. 1. Print ads break today in newsweeklies and auto-buff magazines, and three network TV spots will debut later in the month.
Executives wouldn't release total spending, but said the new effort will strongly outpace the $14.6 million Competitive Media Reporting data show the Pontiac/GMC division spent in 1998 on Bonneville.
"We will spend significantly more than what we've spent the last three years combined," said Mary Boland, Bonneville brand manager. "We're launching a new car, and we're going to put the right resources behind it."
Pontiac spent $30.9 million on Bonneville in measured media in '97 and $27.4 million in 1996, for a three-year total of $72.9 million, according to CMR.
Creative continues the "Luxury with attitude" tagline Bonneville has used since the 1997 model year.
"That was really established with the new car in mind -- we knew we had a new car coming," Ms. Boland said. "We've established it out in the marketplace. There's some recognition out there."
One TV spot will pan across a line of British palace guards to a vivacious young woman in a red dress, said Mr. Fields.
One billboard shows a formal black tie next to a studded leather collar and the phrase "Anything but hoity-toity."
"Providing that contrast to traditional luxury has allowed us to stand out in a way that appeals to people who don't want to have anything to do with traditional luxury," Mr. Fields said.
Bonneville is targeted at college-educated 45- to 55-year-olds with household incomes of $70,000-plus, Ms. Boland said. Most buyers are married and about 60% are men.
Bonneville sales through August were 33,842, down 11.1% compared with 1998, according to Automotive News.
Ms. Boland said the decline is in part due to the phasing out of production for the former Bonneville. Pontiac's goal is to sell 80,000 Bonnevilles in 2000, she