When the Summer Olympics begin in Athens, Greece, this week, General Motors won't just corner the market on TV commercials during the games. It will push its competition off the podium.
GM is the official U.S. automaker of these Olympics. It is spending an estimated $60 million to dominate automotive advertising on NBC Universal's seven TV networks, which are broadcasting the games.
The automaker will have about 400 commercials during the two weeks of the games. Chevrolet will account for about half of those ads, including the first 30-second spot for the 2005 Corvette.
Chevrolet also has enlisted its local dealer advertising groups to advertise heavily on non-network programs during the games.
"When it comes to automotive, we will be the only name you see," says Kim Kosak, Chevrolet's director of advertising and sales promotion.
Because of GM's virtual monopoly, few other automakers will compete for air time.
"They are the big dog, and they will spend the big loot," says a marketing executive for a competing automaker who asked not to be identified. "The rest of us just don't have the horsepower to play at that level."