GM shifting dollars to connected TV ads


General Motors is shifting “significant” dollars to advertising on connected TV, said Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Wahl.

“We think there is enormous potential,” Wahl said during an interview last week at CES. “Just this year, our [connected TV] budgets have increased by 66 percent. It represents a significant portion of our overall media investments.”

Connected TV — which refers to platforms such as Hulu and Roku — is expected to lure more than $10 billion in advertising by 2021, according to an eMarketer forecast. Of course, that is still just a fraction of the $70 billion TV ad marketplace.

But an uptick in investments from a giant spender such as GM could move the connected TV needle significantly, especially if other big automakers follow suit.

The automaker ranks as the nation’s fifth-largest ad spender at $3.14 billion in 2018, according to the latest figures from the Ad Age Datacenter. Of that total ad spend, 83 percent was shoveled into TV.

Wahl did not say how much the 66 percent shift amounts to in raw dollars, but she is bullish on connected TV’s targeting capabilities.

“We are seeing that it returns results so quickly,” she said, referencing a three-month test performed by Cadillac that led to what she described as a “10 percent increase in effectiveness.”

That, she added, “allows us to re-put those dollars into more investments.”

Wahl was named to her role in September after leading Cadillac’s marketing since March 2018. She is GM’s first global chief marketing officer since 2012.

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