GM switches from Super Bowl to Manchester United

GM is going with a more global strategy for its marketing and advertising, hoping to save money but also improve reach and effectiveness.

After ditching costly Super Bowl ads, General Motors is betting a five-year sponsorship of the Manchester United soccer club will bolster its Chevrolet line in the first test of the brand’s new global marketing strategy.

Manchester United, the 19-time English champion football team, has a worldwide reach that fits with the automaker’s desire to make Chevrolet a global icon, Paul Edwards, GM executive director of global marketing strategy, said in an interview prior to the announcement.

“It’s clear that global football presented us with a significant opportunity to spread Chevrolet around the world,” he said. “We recognized that it’s not only the world’s biggest sport but also the world’s most engaged fans.”

The agreement follows GM’s decision this month to halt paid advertising on Facebook and forgo next year’s Super Bowl championship game of the National Football League in the U.S. The decision to sponsor Manchester United isn’t related to GM’s move to stop Super Bowl advertising, Mr. Edwards said. Still, the numbers are compelling.

When Manchester United played against Manchester City, “that audience around the world scaled to 600 million people,” Mr. Edwards said. “Compare that to the Super Bowl here in the States, which is roughly 110, 115 million, and you’re talking five times that audience watching one regular-season game. It’s significant.”

It’s an interesting approach, and it probably makes sense for such a global brand, especially for world vehicles like the Chevy Cruze. If it works for Chevy they’ll roll this out to Cadillac as well. Read the whole article for more insight into the strategy.

  

Chrysler generates buzz with Super Bowl commercial

Chrysler’s two-minute Super Bowl commercial for the new Chrysler 200 featuring scenes of Detroit and with an appearance by Eminem is getting plenty of buzz. It’s two minutes long and quite compelling. The comeback story for the company fits with the concept of a rust best city trying to come back as well. I wonder if the workers at Chrysler and GM will be sending thank you notes to President Obama for saving the companies?

  

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