GM returns to FB with Chevrolet Sonic effort


GM / General MotorsIn a report from The Wall Street Journal, GM’s marketing VP for its Chevrolet division, Chris Perry, was quoted as saying that the company “is testing a number of mobile advertising solutions, including Facebook, as part of its ‘Find New Roads’ campaign”.

Chevrolet is “launching an industry-first ‘mobile-only’ pilot campaign for the Chevrolet Sonic that utilizes newly available targeting and measurement capabilities on Facebook,” a statement said.

Last May, GM decided to leave Facebook and questioned the effectiveness of the social media site under former GM CMO Joel Ewanick.

Right after the announcement that they were dropping FB from their plans, the company went public with its IPO. Many thought its weak debut on the NASDAQ had a lot to do with the timing of GM’s announcement.

GM execs had determined its advertising on the social media site was ineffective. GM had continued using the part of Facebook that allows companies to distribute content for free.

“This happens as a regular course of business, and it’s not unusual for us to move our spending around various media outlets — especially with the growth of multiple social and digital media outlets,” GM said in May. “In terms of Facebook specifically, we are reassessing our advertising, but we remain committed to an aggressive content strategy through all of our products and brands, as it continues to be a very effective tool for engaging with our customers.”

Most of the Facebook’s revenue comes from ads. Although GM was spending $10M a year on FB ads per year before the cuts, a fraction of FB’s $3.7 billion in revenue, losing a high-profile customer like GM raised fears about other advertisers abandoning the service.

FM also just got some good news from a report from technology research firm IDC, released 4/9, that identified Facebook and mobile publishers such as Pandora and Twitter are taking over the market for mobile display advertising in the US from ad networks run by companies like Google and Apple.

RBR-TVBR observation: Facebook had been trying to win back GM as an advertiser ever since the breakup. Meanwhile, Ford increased its presence on Facebook, using it to market its Focus and Fiesta small cars to younger demos. That effort worked well, so it’s not a shocker that the GM effort involves the Sonic, which competes directly with the Fiesta.