Pontiac Achieves Brand Stardom With Google

    January 26, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Instead of Google using brands to power search advertising, Pontiac is turning the tables and using Google to power its brand.

General Motors and other US automakers have suffered greatly at the hands of Toyota and its foreign carmaking counterparts. Now, GM has taken the audacious step of encouraging viewers of its TV commercials to “Google Pontiac,” MediaPost reported.

BuzzMetrics VP of marketing Nate Kalehoff described the regionally-run commercial he saw in Orlando in his article:

But this GM spot was significant because it ended with an unusual call to action: “Don’t take our word for it. Google Pontiac and discover for yourself.” And the ad ended not with a URL or phone number for a local dealer, but an actual Google screenshot with Pontiac typed in. Yes, an actual screenshot!

Kalehoff also noted a quote from GM sales and marketing chief Mark LaNeve about the power of Google: “We’re touting Google, frankly, because it stands for credibility and consumer empowerment, and we like the association.”

The Search” author John Battelle suggested a competitor like Toyota might consider bidding up the keyword “Pontiac,” and make GM engage in a bidding war.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.