XM To Roll NavTraffic Into 2009 Model-Year Vehicles

XM Radio NavTraffic screengrabXM Satellite Radio introduced real-time traffic navigation in 2005 in Acura RL and Cadillac CTS cars. This year, the company rolls the NavTraffic feature into 40 2009 model-year vehicles.

The Washington, D.C. company is launching an integrated ad campaign to promote the new feature to commuters. The effort, launching today, pitches NavTraffic--which is integrated with the car's navigation system--to help commuters "Get There Faster," as the tagline puts it.

The media buy, which features 10-second TV ads plus radio and Internet, focuses on local TV morning-drive programming, XM radio's traffic channels and traffic-report Web sites.

The NavTraffic service infuses accident reports, jams, and other traffic-halting data into vehicles' map-based nav systems.

The TV ads, hitting local morning and evening TV news in 30 markets, continue the line-drawing theme. The TV spots show drivers in their cars listening to XM music channels, and using XM NavTraffic. Washington, D.C.-based Brand-Aid handled. Billboards will be on commuter arteries.



Jeff Curry, XM's VP/automotive marketing, says the spots are brief by design because morning traffic report listeners don't have time for long ads. He says that the NavTraffic service can't be patched into current XM and navigation systems. As a built-in service, it can only be gotten with the purchase of GM, Honda/Acura, Nissan/Infiniti, Toyota cars so equipped, and also with the forthcoming Hyundai Genesis car. He says GM is including the feature in 22 new vehicles this year.

Still, per Curry, the company will sell the feature packaged with certain aftermarket products like those made by portable nav-system company Garmin, or certain car-stereo products from Pioneer and Alpine. "But the primary market is the OEM space; that's where we see biggest volume opportunity," he says.

Curry says Infiniti has begun touting the feature in marketing for its QX and Lexus for its LX SUV. "But we will do a lot of the heavy lifting," he says. "We are developing dealership materials and training programs; it has to work all the way down the funnel, all the way to the dealership level."

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