General Motors has ignored three international networks to hire an independent German agency to promote its US brands, Cadillac and Chevrolet, in Europe.
The decision to hire Buhler Flettner & Partner is seen as indicating that the car company is choosing to go for a short-term sales drive, rather than a longer-term branding campaign. The latter is believed to have been proposed by some of the other roster agencies – Lowe & Partners, NW Ayer and McCann-Erickson (MW November 8 1996). At present, GM sells fewer than 9,000 Cadillacs and Chevrolets in Europe.
“The original brief was to exploit the potential of the US cars across Europe,” says one source. “But GM was in a dilemma over whether to go for a strategy that just sold the cars it received in Europe, or create a brand.
“So, for GM to go for a local integrated agency suggests that it is going for a campaign to support the network of dealers across all markets, rather than the branding campaign others were suggesting.”
The first task for the agency will be the European launch of a new Corvette later this year, which was revealed two weeks ago at the Detroit Motor Show.