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GM Again Shakes Up Ad World

Names Carat its global media planning and buying agency.

by on Jan.24, 2012

The Chevy creative budget is also up for review.

The long-staid world of automotive advertising has been undergoing some seismic shocks in recent years as manufacturers long willing to ride out slumps are now more willing than ever to quickly toss an agency aside if it doesn’t get the results it wants – immediately.

And only a couple years after walking away from long-time agencies, such as Chevrolet’s eight-decade partner Campbell-Ewald, General Motors is again shaking things up by announcing it will turn to Carat to serve as its global media planning and buying agency.

It’s a big catch for Carat, a specialized unit of mega-advertising group Aegis Media.  GM is expected to spend a collective total of $3 billion this year to purchase media to promote products ranging from the new Cadillac XTS premium luxury car to the Opel Ampera plug-in hybrid.

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“We wanted a media agency partner with the sophistication to leverage global marketing opportunities,” said Joel Ewanick, GM vice president and global chief marketing officer. “Carat has an innovative approach to drive significant marketing value and their service model has been tailored to align well with our global and regional brands. They are uniquely positioned to help us form strong media partnerships and drive significant global efficiencies.”

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Q&A Chevrolet General Manager Ed Peper

GM's "main dog" goes on the digital hunt.

by on Jul.13, 2009

Chevrolet General Manager Ed Peper presides over the launch of the new Cruze, which will be a critical product, not just for Chevy, but for GM, which is counting on its "main dog" brand to regain lost market share.

Chevrolet General Manager Ed Peper presides over the launch of the new Cruze, which will be a critical product, not just for Chevy, but for GM, which is counting on its "main dog" brand to regain lost market share.

There was a time, not that many decades ago, when General Motors controlled more than half the U.S. automotive market.  Today, the company that has just re-emerged from bankruptcy is down to barely 20%, and the automaker expects to give up a few more points of share as it abandons four of its eight North American brands.

But the losses GM projects aren’t quite as great as some skeptics would expect, and that’s because the company is betting it can regain some of the ground it might otherwise lose with a big push by its biggest division, Chevrolet – which CEO Fritz Henderson has described as GM’s “main dog.”

Back when GM dominated all competitors, and Dinah Shore told Americans to “See the USA in Your Chevrolet,” the brand was almost synonymous with America.  Today, it struggles to hang onto consumers, especially in import-oriented markets like California.  So, it’s not surprising, Chevy is ready to roll out an experimental sales program that will first be test-marketed on the West Coast, in partnership with eBay.  To find out more about that project, and what other plans Chevrolet has in store, TheDetroitBureau.com’s Bureau Chief Paul A. Eisenstein spoke to Chevy’s affable general manager, Ed Peper.

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