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Watch the Spot

What to Expect From General Motors in the Super Bowl

Car Maker's Top Marketers Say the 8 Goodby Spots Avoid Sophomoric Humor to Tell the Story of Chevy Brands

By Published on . 4

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Super Bowl watchers beware: This Sunday, about the only time you're going to be able to avoid General Motors' presence is when you're in the bathroom.

The car maker will have a total of eight 30-second spots in and around the game -- two in the pre-game, five within the game and one during the post-game show, which GM is also sponsoring. In addition, GM is giving away a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible to the player who sangs the Super Bowl's MVP Award.

Advertising Age Embedded Player
One of GM's spots from this Sunday's Super Bowl.

All of GM's commercials this Sunday will promote the Chevrolet brand or specific models under the Chevy banner, such as the Cruze, the Volt, the Silverado Truck and the Camaro. Each of the spots was created by Omnicom Group's Goodby Silverstein & Partners, the majority of the voice-overs were done by actor Tim Allen, and they all carry the same tagline: "Chevy Runs Deep."

The spots -- which GM's two top marketing execs, Global CMO Joel Ewanick and U.S. VP-Marketing Chris Perry, are sharing with reporters on a one-on-one basis in meetings around Manhattan today -- range from mildly funny to sentimental. Mr. Ewanick said he told his marketing team to ignore ad polls and avoid sophomoric humor in the spots and focus on telling stories about the brand, such as Volt's ability to garner 42 miles per gallon and the reliability of the Silverado. Whether that tactic will work and whether it will meet what the execs would only describe as very high expectations for both brand awareness and sales remains to be seen.

"We're looking to win the day," said Mr. Perry. Asked what they anticipate from their rivals, Mr. Perry said he was curious to see what Chrysler has got up its sleeve, while Mr. Ewanick said he's happy about who's not in the game -- three car makers which he deems GM's most formidable challengers: Ford, Toyota and Honda.

Said Mr. Ewanick: "From our standpoint, strategically it's a real opportunity because our biggest competitors are sitting [the game] out. ... They are very good, they have very good cars, and you have to be out there every day reminding customers" about GM.

GM purchased the commercial time in June, and the execs said pricing for in-game inventory was on par with last year.

GM has been investing heavily in advertising over the past six months, with a World Series presence and on Thanksgiving running a special ad thanking America for sticking by the company through its government bailout. This level of ad blitz is likely the last we'll see from GM for awhile though; the execs say they'll always plan to insert GM into big events that unify TV-viewing audiences, but this level of activity stems from a perfect storm of General Motors doing an IPO and having a slate of new products rolling out.

"We want to change people's perceptions about Chevrolet, which are based on misconceptions and past conceptions," said Mr. Perry.

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