Paramount+, General Motors unite in co-branded campaign
ViacomCBS-owned streaming platform Paramount+ wants consumers to know that its “mountain of entertainment” is powered by General Motors’ technology, enlisting the American automaker for a unique co-branded ad campaign that follows the streamer's multi-part, star-studded Super Bowl blitz last month.
Sprinkled with both automotive and mountaineering lingo, the spots from ViacomCBS’ in-house creative team Velocity invite viewers to “Come with us on a journey to a place where discovery drives innovation.” The creative shows GM’s Ultium electric vehicle platform—a one-size-fits-all chassis able to accommodate a range of the company’s EVs—projecting holograms of Paramount+’s content library.
“A mountain of entertainment. This is peak streaming, powered by General Motors,” a narrator says over the streaming service’s snow-capped logo, which is followed by GM’s recently redesigned lettermark that was unveiled in January as part of the automaker’s largest branding overhaul in 56 years.
“We could not be more excited about this partnership with General Motors,” says David Lawenda, executive VP of digital sales and strategy at ViacomCBS. “It’s the first time ViacomCBS has ever partnered with a brand to create truly co-branded commercial,” and will allow both companies to “leverage vast content at scale,” he adds.
GM is one of the ViacomCBS-owned streaming service’s primary launch sponsors in the U.S., along with other big names such as Expedia and Procter & Gamble.
All Paramount+ launch partners “have the chance to take advantage of our marketing plan” depending on their level of investment, Lawenda confirms, although there’s no word on ViacomCBS’ future co-branding plans. “This is one that we’re exceptionally proud of,” he says of the newest GM creative.
Cut into 15- and 30-second versions, Paramount+ and GM’s joint campaign will run on both linear TV and digital, across ViacomCBS’s properties as well as off-network on channels including ESPN, CNN and Bravo. But while the ad’s wide launch is slated for today, it was actually first unveiled as a short pre-roll clip via Twitter Amplify during last night’s Grammy Awards. The campaign is planned to run through the end of May.
Joining forces with Paramount+ is in line with GM’s “Everybody In” plan, which has been increasingly seeking our entertainment platforms to advertise its developments in the electric vehicle space, the automaker’s chief marketing officer Deborah Wahl says.
By turning to avenues like streaming services, GM hopes to reach the widest possible audience while simultaneously boosting engagement across the board, using creativity to build brand awareness rather than citing the boilerplate statistics that have traditionally been prominent in the automotive marketing sector.
“We’ll continue to engage on a much higher entertainment level than just the facts of a car launch and the facts of the vehicle,” she says.
That approach certainly held true in the company’s Super Bowl spot this year: a hilarious ad from McCann Worldgroup that saw Will Ferrell lash out at Norway’s EV dominance and hype its Ultium battery technology. However, it was admittedly light on concrete details that are typically featured in car commercials, such as pricing, capacity and gas mileage (or in GM’s case, single-charge range).
Launched on March 4 as a successor to CBS All Access, Paramount+ has continued to lean into its “Paramount Mountain” concept, which first gained widespread attention last month in a series of Super Bowl ads featuring a range of real actors and animated characters from Paramount+’s library.