Just a few days after announcing it was pulling its paid advertising from Facebook, General Motors has announced it won’t be playing in the Super Bowl XLVII.
In a statement issued Friday, Joel Ewanick, GM’s Global Chief Marketing Officer, said: “We understand the reach the Super Bowl provides, but with the significant increase in price, we simply can’t justify the expense.”
A 30-second spot in next year’s game has jumped sharply up to $3.8 million and, in the midst of GM’s global marketing overhaul, Ewanick, who previously was heavily in favor of being in the Super Bowl mix, said the company doesn’t feel the results justify the increased expense.
GM did not say whether its decision included other forms of participation, like pre-game spots and Chevrolet’s sponsorship of the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award.
GM was a major buyer in Super Bowl XLVI, with new ads that included “2012,” which poked fun at GM’s prime pickup rival. It was effective enough that a Ford attorney sent GM a letter demanding the ad be pulled. Ultimately, however, Ford may have had the last laugh: one vehicle search service, kbb.com, found the ad sparked more post-game interest in the F-150 than in the Silverado.
Ford itself opted out of the Super Bowl as it focused more of its media buying on venues like Facebook and experiential marketing. If Ford stays the course, this could leave Chrysler as the only American manufacturer with a Super Bowl presence.
There’s little doubt that General Motors’ reevaluation of its advertising is part of CEO Dan Akerson’s drive to increase profitability, but Ewanick says GM isn’t cutting its spending: America’s third-largest advertiser is just looking for more bang for the buck. GM will save not only the cost of the placements, but the cost of producing the ads themselves. Major ads for the Super Bowl are an eagerly awaited part of the event. In fact, many viewers tune in more to see the new ads than to actually watch the game. This has made Super Bowl advertising highly competitive and production expenses can easily be far more than the cost of the time itself.