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January 31, 2006


Katarina Gizzi

There is no doubt about it – the Internet has become the dominant media among new car buyers today. I can’t even remember how many cars I checked online after seeing them on the street or TV. As more car shoppers go online, both car makers and dealers are shifting their ad spending to the Internet.

But what really struck me was to hear about a new TV commercial for Pontiac (airing regionally in the U.S.) where GM is encouraging people to "Google Pontiac." This ad, which is creating a lot of buzz, shows an actual Google screenshot with Pontiac typed in and voice saying:

"Don't take our word for it, Google 'Pontiac' to find out!"

And what struck me even more is all of the free publicity Pontiac is getting by running this ad. Just Google this topic and you’ll find numerous responses and reactions to this commercial, mostly on blogs, where people are discussing why GM did it, how efficient it may be, what is cool/ not cool about it, etc. Regardless of how successful this TV ad campaign will be, GM managed to shock people. GM head of marketing Mark LaNeve says, "We're touting Google, frankly, because it stands for credibility and consumer empowerment, and we like the association."

I wouldn’t be surprised to see more visits to the Pontiac’s websites and dealers, translating into more sales. After all, Google is very HOT today, and no wonder people want to take advantage of it. Smart move, GM!

The complete 30 second commercial is available on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/w/Google-Pontiac-Commercial?v=gE2DXLfrFD4&search=google%20pontiac

Read more about this ad here: http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/060126-185815

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