Tag Archives: IPG

GM Moves Chevy to McCann, Starts Caddy Review

Well, it was probably the worst kept secret around.

And General Motors finally confirmed it, announcing late in the day today (March 14) it was consolidating Chevrolet’s global account at IPG’s McCann Worldwide. Strangely, GM distributed the statement, which was attributed to McCann.

Whatever.

The bottom line is this: Omnicom’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners is out.

Goodby won the Chevy account in 2010 without a review shortly after the arrival of Joel Ewanick as CMO. Ewanick had worked with Goodby during his years heading Porsche marketing and also for a while at Hyundai.

Shortly before Ewanick was forced out last year, GM pushed Goodby into that silly 50-50 venture with McCann to handle Chevy, called Commonwealth. I predicted it was a bad idea to try to get 2 holding companies to work together.

https://autoadopolis.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/is-chevys-global-creative-solution-a-good-idea/

GM should have known better since it had tried it before on the media side… and it flopped.

Most AutoAdOpolis readers know I have not been a big fan of most of Goodby’s work. I don’t put all the blame on the agency because it has done some great work for other clients.

The smoke signals for Goodby’s demise really started billowing late last year when GM’s Alan Batey, interim CMO, (pictured below) moved oversight of the crucial Chevy Silverado launch to Publicis’ Leo Burnett.

aLANBatey

Burnett  also has GMC and Buick and one could certainly argue that work for those two brands hasn’t exactly been setting the world on fire.

So one has to wonder why Batey chose to only fiddle with the agencies for only 2 of 4 GM US vehicle brands, essentially giving Burnett a free pass.

But even more curious is Batey’s timing.

After all, Tim Mahoney will start April 1 as GM’s newly-hired global CMO for Chevrolet. Mahoney, on vacation this month after leaving VW of America, will also be global GM marketing operations leader, indicating he’ll also oversee other car brands. He’ll report to Batey.

GM has been mum on whether Batey, also VP of sales and service in the US, will remain interim global CMO. So Mahoney could well be Batey’s successor. So, if Batey wanted to make some big moves and undo most of what Ewanick did, he knew he had to hurry.

But why not wait until Mahoney arrives?

Batey’s marketing power plays would have had to have been okayed from the top, since Batey reports to GM Chairman-CEO Dan Akerson.

This entire mess doesn’t portray GM in a very positive light.

What the hell are you guys thinking?

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Follow me, Jean Halliday, on LinkedIn, Forbes.com and Facebook

On Twitter @jhal2001

GM Kicks Off Global Soccer Deal After Budget Review

Detroit-General Motors, which spends some $4.5 billion annually in advertising globally, is betting on soccer- or football, depending on where you live, to boost the image of its volume Chevrolet brand around the globe.

In one of the world’s worst-kept secrets, GM announced today its Chevrolet brand inked a 5-year global deal with the UK’s Manchester United, one of the world’s most popular soccer teams.

GM’s volume brand will first activate the Manchester United deal in China, where the team will play in July’s Chevrolet China Cup against Shanghai Shenhua FC and another yet-to-be-named team.

Joel Ewanick, global CMO at the automaker, said at GM’s Detroit headquarters today that McCann Erickson and IPG sibling Jack Morton Worldwide will work with Chevrolet in China to give away game tickets to fans and invite them on the field during practices, as well as advertise during TV broadcasts of the games. Popular Manchester player Park Ji-Sung, a South Korean native, will represent Chevrolet.

In the U.K. at home games, Chevrolet’ owners will be able to park their cars in a special lot close to the stadium, Ewanick said. Chevy’s name and logo will be on swanky red chairs the players and coaches sit in during games and a spot frequented by cameras during TV broadcasts. There’s TV ads too, natch.

Why soccer and Manchester United?

The sport’s and the team’s numbers are pretty impressive. Ewanick said of the world’s population of 7 billion, 3.5 billion of them consider themselves soccer fans. Manchester has 659 million followers worldwide and more than 25 million Facebook fans. Meanwhile, the NFL has 100 million fans globally. While the 2012 Super Bowl attracted 125 million viewers, a recent, televised  Manchester match had an audience of 400 million. And Forbes ranked Manchester United as the most valuable sports team from 2007 through 2011.

Pretty impressive stats, eh?

The genesis of the deal wasn’t from one of GM’s agencies. Ewanick said the seed germinated at an ad conference last fall in San Francisco, when he met and chatted with Manchester United’s Commercial Director Richard Arnold. “The more we talked about Chevy and where we are strong and they want to grow and where they are strong and we want to grow it was easy to see there were ways for us to work together.”

As part of the Chevrolet’s new sponsorship, it is donating 1.5 million indestructible soccer balls over the next three years to the One World Futball Project. The non-profit will distribute the balls to children in war zones, disaster areas and disadvantaged communities, including in the U.S. Chevy introduced its partnership with this two-minute video featuring Sting

Lisa Tarver, co-founder and COO of One World, said 30 million children globally will benefit from these 1.5 million soccer balls and bring them hope for a better future. Here she is with Ewanick today (He’s holding the durable Chevy-branded ball, while she’s got a so-called “rag ball,” made from rags and leaves by kids in many parts of the world)

The news comes in the wake of GM’s very public, recent move to pull out of the Super Bowl and yank its $10-million annual ad spending from Facebook. Other than 2009 and 2010 in the wake of GM’s post bankruptcy reorganization, the automaker had a major, longtime presence as a Super Bowl advertiser. Chevrolet had 5 ads in both the 2011 and 2012 games, plus  one in both post game shows when it awarded new Corvettes to the MVPs. This year, it gave away 20 new Chevy vehicles and  made a huge digital and mobile play, along with an MTV music video and several online sponsorships.

(SEE AUTOADOPOLIS CHEVY-2012 SUPER BOWL BLOG HERE BOWLhttps://autoadopolis.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/chevys-multi-media-super-bowl-blitz/

Ironically GM raved about the results of its Super Bowl effort after the game.

Ewanick said today that NBC wanted too much of an increase for the carmaker to re-up for the Big Game in 2013. “This time every year we evaluate every line item in our media budget,” he said. Although GM found a great return on its investment, next year’s “significant” hike for the Super Bowl was just too expensive.

Not to worry. Another carmaker will gladly pick up the slack. And although Ewanick said “right now that door is closed” for Super Bowl advertising, “we can always change out mind.”

Ditto for Facebook, where Ewanick said GM spent $30 million a year creating content in addition to the $10-million ad buy. “We’ll continue our conversations with Facebook over the summer.” He said Facebook users found GM’s ads “a little bit distracting” and that the automaker had unsuccessfully proposed to Facebook more than a dozen new ways to try to make the ads less intrusive, more engaging and relevant.

GM won’t spend less on advertising in the U.S. and will spend more outside the U.S. as the automaker tries to grow its volume brand. “We are reapplying the Super Bowl dollars for our 2013 launches” in the U.S., (including the crucial next-generation Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups), said Ewanick. “It’s not like we’re cutting in North America.” Although his 2013 ad budget  hasn’t been finalized, he said he’s trying to keep it “up a little bit every year.”

Ewanick estimated that GM and its brands spend roughly a third of their total annual ad expenditures here in the U.S. and the rest outside this country.

GM needs to improve its global marketing, said Ewanick, adding “this is something we have not done well.” For example, he wants GM to do better in Brazil and its large Rio de Janiero hub, where GM has a 12% market share. “We should have a 22% share” there, he said. “You’d be astounded by how much Hyundai spends in Brazil.”

MAKING TRACKS: Elizabeth “Liz” Boone, who was hired with much fanfare from Hyundai’s ad agency, Innocean Worldwide Americas in Huntington Beach, California in 2010, has left General Motors, where she had been global director of digital and social engagements. Boone has joined Federated Media Publishing as a VP, leading the auto category. (Ewanick told AutoAdOpolis GM is strongly considering a candidate in Shanghai as her successor)

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And on Twitter @jhal2001

 

Is Chevy’s “Global” Creative Solution A Good Idea?

General Motors’ Chevrolet brand certainly came up with an interesting solution to its so-called “global” creative review by inking a contract with two agencies from different massive holding companies. (as predicted here January 19)

https://autoadopolis.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/gms-global-gambits/

Omnicom Group’s Goodby, Silverstein and Partners in San Francisco and IPG’s McCann Erickson in New York formed a new 50-50 joint venture called Commonwealth to shepherd creative for GM’s biggest brand. GM was crowing that this is” the first of its kind” global venture and indeed it is. Hmmm- could there be some reason no other marketer has tried this before?

Let’s be clear on one thing: the account is not truly global, since it doesn’t include China, India or Uzbekistan, which are among the world’s biggest and fastest-growing car markets. GM CMO Joel Ewanick said in the phone press conference this week that China and India, both handled by McCann, “are investigating whether or nor they want to come along” under the Commonwealth tent.

Ewanick touted savings of more than $2 billion over the  next five years as a result of this creative consolidation from 70 shops PLUS GM’s recent global media consolidation to Carat, which is part of yet a third big holding company Aegis (More on that later).

Has the scope of the work really changed here for Chevrolet creative? Even if the same creative idea is used in several different markets around the globe, the ads will have to be reworked in other languages and GM’s legal beagles will have to be more involved. Commonwealth bring complexity, not simplicity, to the mix.

There was lots of happy talk during GM’s phone press conference from the involved agency partners. McCann Worldgroup Chairman Nick Brien, chairman and CEO, McCann Worldgroup, called the new Detroit-based shop “a unique opportunity… that will make sure Chevrolet has a global voice.”

Jeff Goodby,co-chairman and creative chief at Chevrolet’s USA agency, dubbed it “a great collaboration.” Goodby, whose shop was hand-picked by Ewanick for Chevy’s US creative account , admitted during the call that the interests of the top brass of the holding companies can “kind of be at odds with each other.” But, he added , that doesn’t extend down the corporate rank and since he knows all the McCann creatives who will be involved personally, “the egos will be checked at the door.”

Easier said than done. Anyone who has worked for an agency creative chief knows how they can be. It’s great these creatives from different agencies know one another. But that’s personal and this is business we’re talking about. I do think these guys will play well together – for a while at least anyway – for the sake of the client and the account.  But how long will it last if one agency’s work keeps winning? Will the egos stay at the door? Let’s be realistic I think not.

GM has tried this dual-company approach in the past, when it had its massive USA media planning and buying split between IPG and Publicis. At the time, GM’s brass said the holding companies’ two agencies would work well together. But in the end, to the surprise of no one but GM apparently, they didn’t play nice with each other at all. The automaker ended up consolidating its media business at Publicis, which just lost its US account to Aegis’ Carat after a global review.

GM’s dual media agency set up all happened before Ewanick arrived. Still, isn’t history there to teach us lessons, especially when things go wrong? It’s the old “live-and-learn” adage, which really just means we have to learn the hard way.

Adding Carat on media into the mix globally to work with Chevy’s hybrid creative agency owned by two other holding companies certainly has the potential to complicate things further. What are the best mediums to use in each country? And will the creatives and media folks agree? Who’s the referee here? If the bottom line determines the buys, will the creatives be happy?

I AM impressed with the creative firepower Commonwealth has assembled. Jeff Goodby is one of four creatives on the new agency’s board and will serve as Commonwealth’s creative chairman.

The other three are:

–Washington Olivetto, chairman of WMcCann and chief creative officer of McCann Worldgroup across Latin America and the Caribbean. Olivetto has won more than 50 Lions at Cannes in just the film category, elected  Advertising Man of the Century by the Latin American Advertising Agencies and in 2009 was inducted into the FIAP’s Hall of Fame of FIAP (Ibero-American Advertising Festival).

– Swede Linus Karlsson, who joined McCann earlier this year as chairman and chief creative officer of its Manhattan and London offices. Karlsson moved to the US in 1996 to work at Fallon in Minneapolis on brands like BMW and Miller Lite before co-founding the successful, indie New York shop Mother.

-Indian-born Prasoon Joshi, who, since late 2006 has been executive chairman for McCann Worldgroup India along with regional creative director-Asia Pacific. He started his ad career as a copywriter, but is also a Bollywood film songwriter, poet and screenwriter. In 2007 and 2008, he won the Filmfare Best Lyricist Award.

Here’s the foursome

(Left to Right: Olivetto; Goodby; Joshi; Karlsson)

Meanwhile, an interesting duo to watch will be the co-managing directors of Commonwealth in Detroit: Joe Garcia, president of McCann Midwest in suburban Detroit and Todd Grantham, Goodby’s account chief in San Fran, who will relocate to the Motor City.

Believe it or not I am rooting for this whole thing to work. I’d like to see Chevrolet get its act together and do well around the world. But the biggest challenge I see in this whole set is : It up simply flies in the face of human nature.

-Jean Halliday-

Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn and Forbes.com

On Twitter: @jhal2001


New Era For GM Advertising?

There’s been a whole lot of tongues wagging in the industry over the hiring of Joel Ewanick as General Motors’ new U.S. marketing chief. Let’s just say GM needs the kind of help Ewanick can bring to the table and leave it at that.
Plus – the grapevine has been buzzing with his swift move to hire Omnicom Group’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners for Chevy’s new national creative agency.
Publicis, which first got a six-month contract last December for Chevy cars, won the entire account from Chevy’s 91-year shop IPG’s Campbell-Ewald without a review about a month ago. But that was BJ – Before Joel, who has been accused of pulling the rug out from under Publicis Chairman-CEO Maurice Levy & company.
Not so fast. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Levy worked his magic behind the scenes in 2007 by convincing GM CEO Rick Wagoner to consolidate Buick and GMC at Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett network from IPG’s McCann Erickson and Lowe respectively. He told me last month he also pow-wowed with GM leaders this time around to capture all of Chevy from IPG. You can bet the Publicis bunch was high-fiving over that one. Again that was BJ.
And how was the work Publicis did for Chevy cars during the Olympics that helped it bag the entire account? You be the judge

And Publicis, with Chevy’s blessing mind you, was about to switch the brand’s ad tag to “Excellence for All,” lambasted by Autoextremist.com as being a horrendous move for the brand. How could it be that no one at Publicis, or inside Chevy or high up at GM for that matter, had the giblets to question that line?

Thankfully, Ewanick has scrubbed the line for good, also erasing it from a new commercial Publicis created for Chevrolet that broke this week, a much better effort by the agency, I must say.

The problem with the way Publicis was going to handle Chevy was via four different offices, each with a different creative chief, which had been OK with Ewanick’s predecessor. But insiders at Chevy were already questioning how that set up could work, ie, it was a recipe for disaster.

Meantime, stay tuned for the first Chevrolet work from Goodby within weeks.

We are looking forward to it!