AUTOSHOW - GM sets Olympic ad deal with NBC
DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co will be a major advertiser, and one of only two automakers airing commercials, during NBC's broadcasts of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, a top executive for the U.S. automaker said on Tuesday.
Terms of the advertising deal were not disclosed.
"The timing is perfect for us because we have a couple of Cadillacs and a Chevrolet that we're going to be in launch mode at or around that time," Joel Ewanick, GM's global chief marketing officer, told Reuters at the Detroit auto show. "It really helps us."
Ewanick declined to say what vehicles the automaker would feature in the ads or how much GM would spend on the campaign, which will start 100 days before the Olympics. However, he said the expenditures would be "significant."
GM spent $1.48 billion on U.S. advertising in the first nine months of last year, an increase of about 21 percent from the same period in 2009, according to Kantar Media. That made GM the third-largest U.S. advertiser.
Also, GM spent $81.6 million in August 2008 and $41.5 million in February 2010 on Olympic advertising, Kantar said.
GM said it will be one of two automakers, along with BMW, running ads during the 2012 Summer Games. The U.S. automaker dropped its sponsorship of the U.S. Olympic Committee after the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, and BMW signed a similar deal last year.
GM has been involved with the Olympics since 1984, when Buick sponsored the USOC. The automaker has advertised as part of NBC's coverage of the Olympics since the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney.
"Chevrolet and Cadillac are two of the world's premier automotive brands ... so it's terrific to see them make a major investment in our coverage of the London Games," said Gary Zenkel, president of NBC Olympics.
Ewanick said GM believes the London Games could top the 215 million U.S. viewers who watched the Olympics in China on NBC.
The automaker chose the Olympics because it matched up well with the launch of several vehicles in a time that is normally difficult to catch consumers' attention, he said.
The advertising would be heavy during the two weeks of the Games themselves with commercials tailored to the events during which they air, but will begin about 100 days before with elements on TV and the Internet, Ewanick said.
"If you look at the programming throughout the two weeks it varies dramatically from the type of sport to the type of sport," he said.
"You can't look at it as the Olympics," Ewanick added. "You have to look at it as individual nights, what is going on, what is the programming, who should we be talking to and be that micro about it."
(Additional reporting by David Bailey in Detroit, editing by Matthew Lewis)
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