This is a surprise considering that event-type advertising is considered so beneficial - and there's no bigger television event than the Super Bowl. But GM's marketing chief says that the costs are just too high. Next year a 30-second spot is expected to sell for $3.8 million. In another surprise earlier this week, GM said it would no longer buy ads on Facebook, and instead rely on the site's free content. From the WSJ:
Helping fuel rising costs has been Advertisers' willingness to pay higher rates to secure time on sports programming is adding fuel to those rising costs. With audiences fragmenting among hundreds of channels and alternative entertainment options such as social media and online viewing, football particularly is one of the few programs that still draws tens of millions of viewers who watch live. That gives the networks much-needed leverage with advertisers. GM's withdrawal suggests however that there could be a limit to what marketers are willing to pay.
One of GM's four TV ads during this year's game depicted an apocalyptic scene in which some Silverado owners escape death and make it to a prearranged meeting point. But a friend who drives a Ford pickup fails to arrive. The ad, which played off the Mayan culture's prediction that the world would end in 2012, rankled No. 2 automaker Ford, which called on GM to pull the ad. GM refused.
Of course, just because GM isn't advertising next year doesn't mean it won't advertise the year after. The company pulled out of the Super Bowl in 2009 because of its financial troubles, but then returned two years later.