DETROIT -- A new General Motors marketing campaign stars GM employees and their families in ads that tout the safety benefits of the OnStar and Stabilitrak systems.
The "Only GM" campaign emphasizes that the OnStar telecommunications service and StabiliTrak stability control technology are exclusive to GM vehicles. GM plans to make both features standard on all models by 2010.
The campaign largely targets female consumers, says Bob Kraut, director of what GM calls "reputational marketing." He would not disclose the cost of the campaign.
"Women tend to have a higher focus on safety than men," Kraut says.
GM will expand the print ad campaign in the May 6 issue of People magazine. The ad includes a group picture of children of GM employees under the headline: "Our families ride in these cars, too."
The ad will run in other major magazines, most of them with predominantly female readerships, Kraut says.
Other print ads in the campaign promote OnStar's ability to track stolen vehicles and to notify authorities automatically after a crash. Ads later this year will focus on StabiliTrak, Kraut says.
The campaign also includes three TV commercials that begin airing in May. GM initially will use them on cable TV programs aimed at women, Kraut says.
A new print ad uses children of GM workers to make a safety pitch.
The 15-second commercials feature female GM executives who design, engineer or sell "safe cars," Kraut says. "They'll show the woman, her family and the vehicle she works on," he says.
Kevin Bilski, sales manager of Saturn of Warren, Mich., says he doubts the "Only GM" campaign will help sell vehicles.
"OnStar and StabiliTrak are fabulous features, but are they driving folks to the dealership to buy the product?" he asks. "If people come in, it's simply because they want to buy a great car."
But Keith Lang, vice president of Tennyson Chevrolet in Livonia, Mich., says consumers increasingly are aware of OnStar.
"We have customers who come in and specifically buy vehicles because of OnStar," Lang says. "It's a huge safety feature."
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