GM Exclusively Backs First Environmental TV Network

GM adGeneral Motors will be the exclusive automotive sponsor of the first TV network to be exclusively devoted to environmental issues. The Discovery Communications Planet Green, a 24-hour eco-lifestyle network, launches June 4.

Kelly Cusinato, spokesperson for GM marketing and communications, says that as national sponsor of Planet Green for the initial year, GM will run a mix of corporate and divisional ads, including a series of eight, two-minute-long documentary-style ads produced by Discovery Studios, and featuring GM executives.

The two-minute ads, two of which are GM corporate ads--four are for Chevrolet, two are for Saturn--deal with advanced technology, fuel alternatives, hybrids, and GM's environmental commitment, including things like environmental impact of its production facilities. Besides featuring GM vehicles, they "star" execs like Beth Lowry, VP/environment, energy and safety policy, Larry Burns, VP/research and development, and Frank Weber, GM vehicle line executive with oversight of the Chevy Volt electric-car concept.



As part of the deal, GM's Chevrolet division will be sponsor of--and have product integrated in--the network's "Greensburg," a 13-part documentary series produced by Leonardo DiCaprio's production company, Appian Way, along with Pilgrim Films & Television. The series is about the tornado that struck the Kansas town last year, and its aftermath.

"In terms of ad creative, we are going to do a mix of existing and new work," says Cusinato of GM's national sponsorship. She adds that Chevy ads for the "Greensburg" series will continue the division's "Gas Friendly to Gas Free" message that Chevrolet bowed in 2006.

"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, in a release. "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."

There will also be GM vehicle and content integrations in select Planet Green programs and online properties. The automaker will also support Discovery Education Live Green Teacher Grants, which was custom-created for GM.

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