General Motors Acceptance Corp. is not satisfied with being a well known auto lender.
The highly diversified finance arm of General Motors will launch a multimedia brand-awareness campaign this year promoting its many services, from personal auto insurance to home mortgages.
'We represent one of the largest pieces of GM's business,' said Jim Farmer, vice president of merchandising, advertising and communication for GMAC. 'We want to boost awareness of GMAC as an enterprise.'
About 70 percent of GMAC's $1.6 billion in profit last year was auto-related, and much of the campaign will target auto insurance and financial services.
But GMAC's goal is to endear consumers to its brand as General Electric Co. did with the phrase, 'GE brings good things to life,' Farmer said. GMAC wants auto finance and lease customers also to consider buying GMAC car insurance and vehicle service plans - and even to finance their homes through GMAC's home lending division.
Nonautomotive business is growing faster than automotive business, Farmer said.
The campaign will be designed to inform customers, touching on such topics such as whether it is better to lease or buy a new vehicle; the importance of establishing a credit history; and 10 steps to protect one's credit.
'We are coming up with thought-provoking messages about car buying and what consumers should know,' Farmer said.
GMAC will use a theme it introduced last year called 'Imagine.' For example, a radio commercial might invite consumers to 'Imagine leasing a car for $30 less per month than you can purchase it.'
GMAC intends to get its message across early. The company is developing brochures and ads targeting children from kindergarten to high school. It also will distribute literature with car-buying tips through the National Business Education Teachers Association.
'We do not just want to be known as a financial services company,' Farmer said. 'We want to be known as a financial services company that helps make complex financial decisions easy.'
Donna Harris is a staff reporter in Washington