(Detroit-WXYZ) - During the 2012 Superbowl General Motors paid about $3.5 million for 30 seconds of advertising during the game. It was more than in previous years, even though the audience was about the same size.
“At one point it gets to be too expensive,” said GM’s marketing chief Joel Ewanick. “Enough is enough. We have to pull back.”
The automaker says while it is pulling advertising out of “America’s football game,” it is putting it into the world’s football team.
On Thursday the automaker announced a 5 year sponsorship deal with the Manchester United Football Team (or to all you Americans the Manchester United Soccer Team.)
The English team is ranked the most valuable by Forbes. It has 25 million Facebook fans, and is followed around the world. Some of its games attract more than five times the audience of the Super Bowl. It is also very popular in China, where Chevrolet hopes to continue a trend of growth. Chevrolet sales in China increased 9.5% last year.
This comes after other high profile cuts to aspects of the automaker’s American advertising. The automaker recently said it would no longer be buying ads from Facebook.
Ewanick says the automaker’s advertising team looked at several ways to enhance exposure on the social networking site, but feedback from consumers showed the ads were ineffective for its purposes.
“Everything has to prove to have value to us, including Facebook,” said Ewanick.
Ewanick says the moves are not evidence of a shrinking focus on the American consumer. The automaker is increasing its advertising in the United States, but is looking for the most bang for it’s buck. Facebook and the Super Bowl didn’t make the cut.
”Just because we’re not in the Super Bowl doesn’t mean we’re not in the NFL,” said Ewanick. “As it is we’re increasing that footprint more.”
The automaker also announced an effort to provide 1.5 million soccer balls to children in refugee camps, disaster areas, and impoverished communities. The balls are specially designed to hold up even if they are punctured on rough terrain. They say the balls will help children around the world enjoy play even in tough times, develop a love for soccer, and allow Chevrolet to give back.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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