Does GM's return to Facebook signal new age of social media advertising?

GM gives social network a second chance with mobile ads for Chevy Sonic

After dumping Facebook a little less than a year ago, General Motors is back, running an advertising test on the social network.

GM, one of the largest US advertisers, is testing paid ads geared toward Facebook's mobile users The ads are for the Chevrolet Sonic, a car aimed at younger drivers.

"Chevrolet is testing a number of mobile advertising solutions, including Facebook, as part of its 'Find New Roads' campaign," said Chris Perry, vice-president of US Chevrolet Marketing. "Chevrolet has launched an industry-first 'mobile-only' pilot campaign for the Chevrolet Sonic that utilises newly available targeting and measurement capabilities on Facebook. "

The company noted it has had ongoing dialogue with Facebook over the past year regarding potential advertising and promotional opportunities.

GM's return to Facebook is of special note because the company pulled its advertising dollars from the social network last May, days before Facebook launched its initial public offering amid a media frenzy. GM pulled its US$10 million ad campaign, saying paid ads on the site were ineffective.

While it would no longer pay for ads on the site, GM said at the time it would continue to have a presence on Facebook and work on building up its social media followers.

GM's return, even if on a pilot basis, has to be good news for the social network and could potentially pull in more mobile advertisers, said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research.

"It's possible GM is making a new play for younger people and Facebook would fit in with that move," Gottheil said. "Going public with this has to be good, assuming the tests are successful. You know Facebook will be killing itself to make the brand ads successful."

A successful test run could also draw more advertisers to Facebook.

"I would think it would cause some companies to give Facebook another look," said Gottheil. "That kind of public humiliation of dumping Facebook right before the IPO is rare. I just don't know what would make GM do that... It looks good for Facebook that the company is back."

And having the most popular mobile app can't hurt when trying to woo new, or old and disgruntled, advertisers into the fold.

Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research, said if GM is going for a younger market, it makes sense look to the world's biggest social network and to a mobile platform.

"Facebook could argue that if you want to appeal to the younger generation, it’s the de facto standard now," he added. "Mobile makes sense as well since the younger generation tends to not use PCs a lot. I'm sure part of this is to try and make GM not look like the stodgy old company it has been."

More Facebook news:

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia or take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Maintaining trust in a sceptical world: The power of brand trust

The faith people have in brands creates opportunity for those brands to become trusted advisors. In turn, this builds success by increasing the brand’s profile, letting it broaden its product offering and driving stronger customer loyalty.

Dan Ratner

managing director, uberbrand

When growth stalls: How to boost growth in large organisations

The push to start new businesses continues. In Q1 2017, the number of seed and angel deals increased by 1.4 per cent compared to Q1 2016.

Con Frantzeskos

CEO, Penso

Why we need diversity in marketing

​When we read articles about the need for increased diversity in marketing land, it is often through the lens of gender.

Jodie Sangster

CEO, ADMA

Educational activities is always a prestigious approaches in taking time for the smoother operational planning to implement in the long r...

ikuyo

Save the Children's marketing chief swaps not-for-profit for education

Read more

We all know that digital marketing in order to promote a brand, products and services is by the use of electronic media. The evolution of...

Helaina Berry

Predictions: 17 digital marketing trends for 2017

Read more

Interesting insight, well explained and the examples are just apt.Thanks for sharing!

FreshMindIdeas

The politics of branding - Brand science - CMO Australia

Read more

When the world that we live in floods with gigabytes of content every day, we have to learn to be selective about it. Such educational we...

Paulina Cameron

ADMA launches education program to tackle viewability, ad fraud and brand safety

Read more

Hi, i am an Aistralian ALK patient, been on xalkori dec 13 to oct 15 and achieved remission of disease, since been on Ceritinib until no...

gary packer

Pfizer Australia adopts AI-powered digital analyst tool for sales and marketing decision making

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in