GM Will Advertise on Super Bowl Pre-Game Show


  • 2013 Chevrolet Traverse Picture

    2013 Chevrolet Traverse Picture

    The 2013 Chevrolet Traverse will be featured in GM's pre-game advertising for the 2013 Super Bowl. | January 28, 2013

Just the Facts:
  • GM will run four Chevrolet ads during the 2013 Super Bowl pre-game show.
  • The company declined to place ads during the game itself due to CBS's high asking price, estimated to be as much as $3.8 million for a 30-second spot.
  • Several other auto companies are expected to advertise during the game, including Ford, which will run its first-ever Super Bowl ad for Lincoln.

DETROIT — After deciding not to advertise during the 2013 Super Bowl due to high cost, General Motors Co. has now opted instead to run four ads for its Chevrolet brand during the pre-game show.

According to Patrick Morrissey, director of product and brand communications for Chevrolet, spots running on the pre-game show are all existing commercials for models that include the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse SUV and Silverado pickup.

"This was a strategic decision based on the significant increase in price, as well as our overall marketing and advertising priorities and requirements for the full year," Morrissey told Edmunds on Sunday.

He also noted that the decision does not reflect a change in GM's overall marketing and ad budget, which remains "essentially flat" to last year.

In May 2012 GM announced that it would not pay CBS's asking price for a 30-second spot during the 2013 game, estimated at $3.7 million to $3.8 million, according to Advertising Age. During its economic recovery, GM had skipped the 2009 and 2010 Super Bowls but then returned for the 2011 and 2012 games.

Last year, when ads on NBC ran about $3.5 million for 30 seconds, GM created serious buzz with a spot that showed Silverado pickups helping their owners survive the predicted 2012 Maya apocalypse. In the end, the driver of a Ford F-150 is not so lucky, which prompted Ford to respond with angry letters from its legal department.

Ford plans to advertise its Lincoln brand on the Super Bowl for the first time ever. The company's #SteertheScript campaign, conducted on Twitter by comedian Jimmy Fallon, solicited story ideas from the public. In the end, so much good material came in that Ford scrapped its plans for a single 60-second spot, instead producing two 30-second ads.

Audi also went the audience-participation route with its commercial about a teenaged boy's prom-night ride. The German automaker asked the public to vote on three possible versions of the spot, with the winner to be shown during the game.

Volkswagen's latest entry in the Super Bowl ad wars, entitled "Sunny Side," begins with shots of people freaking out, sad, or angry, followed by reggae legend Jimmy Cliff singing a version of the Partridge Family's "C'mon Get Happy."

Along more traditional lines, a Mercedes-Benz ad is entitled "Kate Upton Washes the All-New Mercedes-Benz CLA in Slow Motion," even though it appears that the supermodel actually gets a bunch of football players to wash the car for her.

And Toyota's ad for its RAV4 has actress Kaley Cuoco walking her little dog through city streets and granting peoples' wishes as rapper Skee-Lo's "I Wish" plays in the background.

Edmunds says: The pre-game is not The Game, and while GM may have chosen to spend its ad dollars elsewhere, the company's traditional rival, Ford, is still putting its faith in the Super Bowl, as are many of its other competitors.

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