Cost-conscious GM will not advertise in 2024 Super Bowl
General Motors (GM) said on Monday it will not advertise in the 2024 Super Bowl, the first time since 2019 it will sit out the heavily watched National Football League (NFL) championship game as it cuts marketing costs as part of a broad strategy to reduce fixed expenses.
The largest US carmaker said it continually evaluates its “media strategies to ensure they align with our business priorities”, to explain its decision.
The Super Bowl is the final game of every NFL season and is among the world’s most-watched single sporting events. It frequently commands the largest audience among all US broadcasts during the year and attracted 113-million viewers across digital and traditional TV platforms in 2022.
Commercial airtime during the Super Bowl broadcast is the most expensive of the year because of the high viewership, leading to companies regularly developing their most expensive advertisements for the broadcast. In 2023, a 30-second Super Bowl advertisement costs a record-high average of $7m (about R128.25m), according to Forbes.
GM, which said in July it planned to cut operating costs by an additional $1bn (about R18.32) in the months until the end of 2024, said in October it was slowing the launch of several electric vehicle (EV) models to cut their costs, and pulling back on EV product spending.
The GM Super Bowl decision was reported earlier by Ad Age.
GM has often used the Super Bowl to tout its new EVs and in 2022 featured comedian Will Ferrell in ads.
Before the additional $1bn (about R18.32bn) in cuts announced in July, the carmaker earlier in 2023 said it would cut fixed costs by $2bn (about R36.64bn) by the end of 2024. In the July announcement, the company said $800m (about R14.66bn) would come from reduced sales and marketing expenses and the remainder from “all areas of the business, including engineering expense, travel and administrative costs”.
In April, GM said about 5,000 salaried workers had taken buyouts and agreed to leave the company, which would reduce fixed costs by about $1bn (about R18.32bn) a year, including a few hundred additional jobs cut in February.
GM faces higher costs from a new labour agreement with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, including 11% immediate pay hikes and 25% through 2028.
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