General Motors — the automotive company behind the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, and Wulinghave brands — has signed with UTA. The agency will manage the automaker’s branded entertainment initiatives.
This is not the first from Corporate America to sign with the agency. UTA Marketing, a division of UTA, already advises Amazon, Delta Air Lines, LinkedIn and Lyft. Division co-heads David Anderson and Julian Jacobs will be leading the team that will focus on developing strategic programs and initiatives with leading artists and creators and expanding GM’s profile across film, TV, music, sports, arts and culture to propel the automaker to the forefront of popular culture.
Interestingly, the first big auto brand to link with entertainment in a big way was Chevrolet when it hooked into the first Ghostbusters film in 1984. At that time, the studio (Columbia Pictures) and GM launched a college marketing program to hook brand loyalty at an early age. And it worked at the time when the automaker pushed their affordable cars to those with very little disposable income in a very hip way.
UTA Marketing has been growing in recent years. Programs the group has conceived include working with flagship client Delta Air Lines to launch the Delta Festival Shuttle, a series of curated, invite-only flights exclusive to talent, musicians and entertainment executives traveling to marquee events throughout the year like the Sundance Film Festival and SXSW. It also spearheaded a program to help ridesharing client Lyft forge the recent marketing partnership with Netflix (a first for Netflix) with Stranger Things to offer a series of activations and promotions to fans in anticipation of the popular series’ return.
In leading UTA Marketing, Anderson and Jacobs bring extensive expertise in entertainment, branded content and new media—from traditional talent and film/TV partnerships to helping companies navigate new mediums of storytelling such as podcasts and virtual reality—all of which will be brought to bear for GM.
“We are fortunate and privileged to be working with one of the world’s most iconic brands at such a watershed moment,” said UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer. “Under the guidance of Mary Barra and her team, GM is demonstrating innovative leadership, and we love the challenge of working in partnership with them to drive that innovation within the entertainment industry.”