GMC is trying new advertising approaches for its 2000-model vehicles.
The brand will spend more on the Yukon XL and buy more magazine spreads and multicultural ads. It also will group models in ads and give the U.S. Olympic track and field team a larger role.
A key challenge in 2000 is to build awareness for the Yukon XL. The sport-utility replaces the popular Suburban, which will still be sold by sibling Chevrolet. In recent years, GMC barely advertised the Suburban because the name benefited from Chevrolet advertising, said Courtney Moody, assistant brand manager of marketing for the Yukon.
Indeed, GMC spent $287,000 in measured media for the Suburban during the first nine months of 1999, according to Competitive Media Reporting. GMC's Sierra pickup, redesigned for the 1999 model year, got the biggest GMC outlay in that period, $55.5 million.
Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide of New York created the Yukon XL's TV commercials and print ads that broke in mid-January. In a 30-second spot, the 1999 Suburban morphs into the 2000 Yukon XL. The model also is getting a significant magazine push, which includes spreads and page ads, Moody said.
That's a switch for GM, which in 1998 questioned the effectiveness of spreads and nearly stopped buying them altogether.
But big sport-utilities 'played best in spreads,' Moody said, adding that prospects for the premium sport-utilities spend more time reading magazines than watching TV.
ATTRACTING FEMALE BUYERS
Late in the first quarter, the XL's smaller version, the Yukon, will be launched. GMC will advertise the two together in spreads and page ads, Moody said. Hoping to attract more female buyers, GMC plans to add more women-oriented magazines in March and April.
Castor Advertising in New York is working on Hispanic-targeted TV spots for the Yukon XL.
For its Envoy sport-utility, the marketer launched a campaign Jan. 29, via GMC's African-American agency, Wimbley Group in Itasca, Ill. The TV campaign compares the Envoy's attributes to those of Marion Jones, a track athlete hoping for a medal at the Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, this year.
TRACK & FIELD
The Envoy also will be title sponsor of two upcoming televised track and field Olympic qualifying events. The deal is an extension of GM's long-term sponsorship of U.S. Olympic teams and its media deal with Olympic broadcaster NBC.
'When we tried to imagine who the physical manifestation of the Envoy was, the perfect fit was Marion Jones,' said Envoy Brand Manager Tony DiSalle. 'Marion and the GMC Envoy are the embodiment of where beauty meets brawn.'
GMC sold 521,294 trucks last year, up 15.6 percent from 1998, according to the Automotive News Data Center.