The Holden Commodore derived Pontiac G8 won’t have to rely on its reputation alone to sell in the US, with Pontiac announcing that the G8 will be its most heavily advertised vehicle this year.
The brand will rely on traditional media, as opposed to new age web and viral marketing, promoting its four-wheeled savior in television ads during college sporting events among others. General Motors does not disclose its marketing budgets, but a typical product launch like this could cost hundreds of millions.
“It’s not that we won’t do Internet, but being a flagship product, we want to be making an extreme statement,” says Brian Shipman, G8 product manager. “The G8 is worthy of having our best effort in advertising.”
The use of TV and print to reach a wider audience is aimed at bringing more traffic into Pontiac showrooms.
“We do need it,” says Mike Bowsher, owner of Carl Black Buick-Pontiac-GMC in Kennesaw, Ga. “I don’t want to sound like we’re desperate, but we do need this.”
The G8’s main rivals are the Dodge Charger and Nissan Maxima, with the BMW 5 series and Infiniti G35 as “aspirational” targets, Shipman says.
Currently, Holden’s only manufacturing plant in Elizabeth can produce around 30,000 G8’s to export to the US each year, which insiders forecast isn’t nearly enough to meet demand.
“One thing about GM is if the demand is there, they’ll find a way to make more of it,” says Bowsher.
The base model Commodore SS equivalent G8 GT sells for roughly AUD$32,361.58 in the States, severely undercutting the local Australian sticker price.