Pontiac G6 Targets Females

Nov 8, 2004  •  Post A Comment

To reach women with its new model, the G6, Pontiac is making nontraditional advertising deals with female-oriented cable networks.

Pontiac, which gave away 276 G6s in September on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” is on WE: Women’s Entertainment this month for the first time as presenting sponsor of the channels’ “Cinematherapy” hosted-movie block. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The automaker also is going to work with the other women-oriented networks, said Mary Kubitskey, Pontiac advertising manger.

“We will be working with Lifetime-details to be announced-but probably first quarter,” Ms. Kubitskey said. “And I think we have traditional media scheduled for Oxygen, but we’re trying to look at going a little deeper or doing something a little different with them.”

The G6 is Pontiac’s largest-volume vehicle, so it has to appeal to a lot of customers. But Pontiac is using a two-pronged approach to appeal separately to men and women. It is using its sponsorship of the NCAA to reach men. And it started looking for female-skewing outlets to reach women.

“We’ve been pursuing the auto category,” said Arlene Manos, president of national advertising sales for Rainbow Advertising Sales. Rainbow, which owns WE, opened an office in Detroit and hooked up with Pontiac during the upfront. “Pontiac had a launch, and our marketing department came up with this program and they were very happy.”

WE produced special segments featuring “Cinematherapy” hosts Lawrence Jansen and Megan Armitage taking road trips with the Pontiac G6 to different locales and talking about themes from that week’s movie. WE also selected the films, which are “The Money Pit,” “The Secret of My Success,” “The Breakfast Club” and “A Fish Called Wanda.”

Pontiac probably will be back on WE next year, Ms. Kubitskey said. “There’s two more G6 launches next year, with the sedan and the hardtop convertible.”

Ms. Kubitskey said WE’s effort to produce something untraditional “makes them more attractive to advertisers, and it was great for us as well.”

“Our charge is not to do traditional advertising,” but with many advertisers looking similar for integrated deals, the pressure is on to find good ideas, she said. “It’s always a challenge to think of what the next big thing is. Whereas `Oprah’ was a great one-time thing, I don’t think we want to be the car division that gives away cars.”