No New Year's Party for Chevrolet

Brand Withdraws from Network Sponsorship Deals, Ground Activity on Big Night

By Published on .

DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- Chevrolet won't be rocking on New Year's Eve. The General Motors Corp. vehicle brand has withdrawn from sponsorship deals with major TV networks as well as any on-the-ground activities in Times Square on Dec. 31. That word comes and GM and Chrysler await word from the White House on an emergency federal loan.

Chevrolet started latching onto New Year's Eve in December 2003 to launch its 'American Revolution' brand campaign.
Chevrolet started latching onto New Year's Eve in December 2003 to launch its 'American Revolution' brand campaign. Credit: AP
Chevrolet spent several million dollars annually on the Dec. 31 effort, two media experts estimated.

GM has been pulling out of high-profile properties and sponsorships since last year, when it ended its long-standing sponsorship of the U.S. Olympic Committee and NBC Universal's broadcasts of the Olympic Games at the end of 2008. This summer, GM pulled its ad buy during ABC's Emmy Awards broadcast and its major sponsorship of ABC's Academy Awards broadcast next year.

GM's Mark LaNeve, VP-sales, service and marketing in North America, said recently that all marketing programs and sponsorships were on the table for review.

Better years
The automaker started latching onto New Year's Eve in December 2003 to launch its "American Revolution" brand campaign from Interpublic Group of Cos.' Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich. Chevrolet was the title sponsor of "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve," as well as a major sponsor of that night's "The Late Show with David Letterman" and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." In addition, Chevrolet bought high-profile boards in the heart of Times Square, including the Reuters Building and the ABC super sign.

The Chevrolet spokesman said Dec. 31, 2005 was probably the brand's biggest New Year's Eve blitz. That extravaganza, to launch the redone Tahoe SUV, encompassed on-sight exposure and a branded stage, and the marquee was also a presenting sponsor of "NBC's New Year's Eve with Carson Daly."

In addition, Chevy advertised during the broadcast and made ad buys that night on ABC, Fox, Telemundo, Telefutura and Galavision. It handed out branded party hats and confetti while Mary J. Blige performed live on a Chevy-branded stage flanked by two suspended Tahoes. Outdoor ads for the SUV rolled on Reuters' Jumbotron, ABC Studio's super sign and ball-drop video monitors.

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