GM Playing a Part in Lifetime Shows

Aug 14, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Lifetime is putting General Motors in the driver’s seat with product integration in two upcoming programs.

In one deal, GM’s OnStar in-vehicle safety and security service will be featured in the upcoming movie “Amber’s Story” as part of a multifaceted marketing package. In a separate deal, the lead character of the new series “Angela’s Eyes” drives around in a GMC Yukon truck.

The deals were made by Lifetime’s Partnership group, which was created in 2003 to create integrated deals.

“We tend to be doing a lot more of these,” said Mike Alvarez, VP of Lifetime Partnerships. “Being able to read scripts in a very timely manner allows us the opportunity to go out to advertisers where the fit is so organic and it’s right on brand for them.”

Lifetime worked with GM previously on a series of vignettes last year. Most recently, Lifetime integrated Perfectmatch.com into its series about a dating agency, “Lovespring International.”

In the case of “Amber’s Story,” Jonathan Sandak, director of Lifetime Partnerships, came across the script and reached out to OnStar’s agency, GM Planworks, which forwarded the notion to OnStar.

OnStar reserves some dollars for ad hoc projects, according to Tim Connor, advertising manager for OnStar. “This was just right in our wheelhouse,” he said. “It plays into our safety and security story, which is the core of our messaging and the essence of our business.”

As part of the package, OnStar was written into the movie, which dramatizes how the kidnapping of two young girls led to the Amber Alert system for tracking missing children. After the Amber Alert system is established, the movie shows officials receiving a call from an OnStar operator who relays information that an OnStar subscriber had seen a car that was the subject of an alert. That sets the police in motion; there’s a confrontation and the abduction is foiled.

OnStar gets four 30-second spots within the movie, which premieres Sept. 4. “There’s this great brand lift when you have your commercials in and around an in-program placement,” Mr. Sandak said.

OnStar will also be part of the tune-in campaign for the movie. Spots OnStar made showing the service locating a lost child are being incorporated into the tune-in campaign, along with a message that the movie is “brought to you by” OnStar. Those spots will air 20 times in the week leading up to the movie’s premiere.

As it often does with cause-related movies, Lifetime will conclude “Amber’s Story” with a public service announcement, this time from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

OnStar President Chet Huber will appear before and after the PSA, explaining how OnStar supports the NCMEC through its Good Samaritan Program, which can mobilize millions of subscribers who can help spot missing, abducted and lost children.

OnStar will also be featured on the Lifetime Web site, both in areas dedicated to the movie and in Lifetime’s advocacy area. Good Samaritan stories, in which OnStar users help someone, also will be available.