The automaker has closed three deals -- two with Viacom -- in which Saturn vehicles receive a prominent sponsorship role. Saturn, a longtime small-car brand, is in the middle of its biggest product line expansion since it arrived in 1990, having rolled out a sports utility vehicle, the Vue, and mid-size car line, the L-Series. And this fall Saturn launched Ion, which replaces its long-standing S-Series line.
The 2003 Ion will be an
Michael Sakin, senior vice president of advertising sales at the Game Show Network, said the Ion, the official car sponsor of Cram, will be used to shuttle contestants from the studio to the "cram chambers" during show's opening and closing sequence. The car will also be the backdrop in 20 out of the show's 40 episodes for a trivia round that has contestants also riding stationary bicycles. Players in eight episodes will also be asked questions from the Ion's owner manual.
GM resumes its relationship with Survivor, the reigning champ of reality shows, with the series' early 2003 broadcast on Viacom's CBS. GM was a leading sponsor of the first season of Survivor, when the winner received a Pontiac Aztek. This time, the Ion becomes the show's official vehicle, and will be integrated into one episode, Mr. Armstrong said. The winner also gets an Ion.
Returns to MTV
Saturn will also be a sponsor on Viacom's MTV, where it was featured on MTV's Real World Road Rules Battle of the Seasons earlier this year to promote its S-Series three-door coupe. This time the Ion four-door coupe will be integrated into the Real World Battle of the Sexes, also debuting Jan. 6, although the Vue SUV will appear in an early episode.
Mr. Armstrong said the demographics of the two cable TV shows will reach Ion's 18- to 24-year-old target, with Survivor covering the model's 18-to-34 age group.
The auto marketer expects an online component for each of the three partnerships, from having a presence on Survivor's Web site to being a grand prize offering for the online game versions of Cram and Real World.
Mr. Armstrong said Saturn's last MTV deal resulted in more than 40,000 consumers who registered for the game online through the auto brand's Web site, saturn.com, and requesting more information about the vehicle.