General Motors and Discovery Communications today unveiled a multifaceted GM advertising sponsorship of Planet Green, the first and only 24-hour eco-lifestyle network coming to 50 million homes beginning June 4.
For GM, the partnership includes premier sponsorship of the network's landmark series "Greensburg," various vehicle and program integrations, short- form content and an online component. The deal also provides GM exclusive automotive sponsorship at the national level and offers GM an opportunity to demonstrate its broad commitment to offer customers more choices, cleaner vehicles and improved fuel economy.
"It's a great way for GM to educate and inform consumers about all we are doing in the area of sustainable transportation," said Betsy Lazar, executive director, GM advertising and media operations. "Planet Green programs will attract consumers who also want to know what GM has to offer in terms of fuel- efficient cars and trucks, hybrids and alternative fuel vehicles."
"Advertisers have long recognized the strength of the Discovery Communications brand, and the addition of Planet Green to our portfolio of networks provides another top-notch opportunity to reach target audiences," said Joe Abruzzese, president, Advertising Sales, Discovery Communications. "Our partnership with GM is a perfect match of two brands relating to a growing population of eco-conscious viewers and consumers."
"Greensburg," a 13-part documentary series produced by Leonardo DiCaprio's production company, Appian Way, along with Craig Piligian's Pilgrim Films & Television, follows the story of a community coming together and facing the task of greening their small Kansas town after being hit by an EF5 tornado in May 2007 that destroyed 95 percent of the town. Included among the many stories of re-building featured in the series will be the documentation of the new, environmentally-conscious Dwane Shank Motors Inc. Chevrolet dealership after the Shank family's previous dealership in Greensburg was destroyed by the tornado.
GM also donated three Chevrolet E85 FlexFuel Suburbans to the South Central Community Foundation, which the Foundation allocated for use by the local school. It also provided, through Discovery, three Chevrolet Tahoe hybrid SUVs and one Silverado FlexFuel pickup to the Greensburg city administration.
In addition, GM is one of the first advertisers to sign on for a new production service offered by Discovery Studios -- the full-service production division of Discovery Communications -- which has established a production arm dedicated to the creation of original, short-form video content. GM will utilize this service as an extension of its core advertising needs, and beginning in the next two months, short-form content created for GM by Discovery Studios will air on Planet Green. The short-form content will convey GM's environmental efforts through the images and voices of key executives and employees.
Moreover, vehicle and content integrations in select Planet Green programs and online properties will complement GM's advertising on the network and introduce viewers and users to its numerous fuel-efficient vehicles, hybrids and biofuel vehicles. GM's commitment to Planet Green extends to other platforms, including support for Discovery Education Live Green Teacher Grants, which was custom-created for GM.
GM has committed to displace petroleum use in the auto industry through a range of propulsion alternatives. GM's "Gas-Friendly to Gas-Free" advertising campaign encourages customers to consider GM vehicles that get more than 30 mpg highway fuel economy, those that can operate on biofuels, and its growing line of hybrids. The campaign also informs the public that GM is working on advanced technologies such as plug-in hybrids, extended-range electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cells.