DETROIT -- General Motors uses humor in a new national ad campaign that it believes will differentiate its certified used-vehicle brand from the competition.
The GM Certified used-vehicle brand kept its "The right way. The right car" tag line that it used in a regional print campaign last year and applied it to newspaper and magazine ads and radio spots that play on good vs. bad experiences.
One ad, showing a close-up of a GM Certified dealership sign, is labeled "Nice memory." Another photo in the ad shows a woman on a bad hairdo day and is labeled "Painful memory."
It is GM's first national ad campaign for certified used vehicles since 1997, said Dana Hammer, manager of GM Certified Used Vehicles.
"People are already anxious about buying a used car; we want to take the anxiety out of the process," he said. "Peace of mind is what is relevant. We don't want a heavy message."
He declined to say how much GM is spending on the campaign, which runs through the end of the year. He said GM is offering matching co-op funds of 25 percent to dealers who advertise their certified inventory.
National radio and regional newspaper ads broke the week of June 2 in key markets including Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Chicago and Phoenix.
Ads will appear in the August issues of several magazines including Better Homes & Gardens, Parenting, Car and Driver, Sports Illustrated and People.
The campaign also includes special consumer financing rates of 4.9 percent on 48-month contracts and 5.9 percent on 60-month contracts on mid-sized sport-utilities and mid-sized cars. The finance rates are available in June and July.
GM Certified, which reports certified Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Pontiac and Oldsmobile sales together, is the top seller of certified used vehicles this year.
Through May, GM sold 113,455 certified used vehicles - almost half of the 250,000 units it expects to sell this year.