GM to Run a Corporate Super Bowl Ad Touting Electric Vehicles
By Alexandra Bruell
General Motors Co. typically pays millions of dollars to promote
individual car brands in the Super Bowl.
This year, the automotive giant will use TV's biggest stage
partly to tout its corporate brand in a commercial positioning the
company as a player in making electric vehicles for the masses,
according to the company.
GM declined to share the ad in advance, but people familiar with
the effort said it would include Will Ferrell, the comedic actor
known for his time on "Saturday Night Live" and roles like Ron
GM will also run a separate Super Bowl ad devoted to a single
brand, the all-electric Cadillac Lyriq, set to launch next year.
The commercial for Lyriq will highlight the company's hands-free
driver-assistance system, dubbed Super Cruise.
The corporate marketing effort is an attempt to boost awareness
of GM's work in electric vehicles and, in turn, support its
individual brands rolling out new models in the category, said
Deborah Wahl, global chief marketing officer at GM.
The company laid out its vision for a heightened focus on
environmental initiatives three years ago, and has since
implemented new technology and plans to roll out electric vehicles
across brands including Cadillac, Buick, Chevrolet and GMC.
"It's really an inflection point for GM," Ms. Wahl said. "We've
had all that change inside, but perceptions of the company outside
didn't reflect that. There's no better place to start a movement
than a Super Bowl platform."
The campaign, which was created by McCann Worldgroup, comes as
companies face disruption amid the Covid-19 pandemic and work
harder to resonate with consumers who care more about corporate
"We spent the last year making ventilators and PPE," Ms. Wahl
said. "This cemented a newfound sense of purpose and what our role
is in contributing in our own communities."
GM Chairman and Chief Executive Mary Barra last year announced a
number of initiatives to counter climate change and shift its
approach by 2025, including plans to offer 30 all-electric models
The company this month unveiled a new, more-contemporary logo as
well as an ad campaign called "Everybody In" -- with an emphasis on
the "ev," for electric vehicles -- to promote its efforts during
the Consumer Electronics Show.
The Super Bowl ad promoting GM as a company is an extension of
that campaign, which is set to run with new ads throughout the
year. It marks only the second time in recent years that GM has
promoted its corporate brand in the game, where 30 seconds of
commercial space currently costs upward of $5 million.
GM also featured its corporate brand in a 2007 Super Bowl ad, an
effort to promote its fixation on quality. But the ad, which showed
a robot dreaming about suicide after it made a mistake, sparked
backlash. The company ultimately removed the depiction of the robot
plunging from a bridge for future re-airings.
Write to Alexandra Bruell at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 27, 2021 13:14 ET (18:14 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.