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GM Won't Advertise During Super Bowl 2013

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Instead of producing commercials like this Chevy Silverado spot from the 2012 Super Bowl, General Motors will save approximately $3.8 million for every 30 seconds of commercials by not advertising in the next Super Bowl.
Instead of producing commercials like this Chevy Silverado spot from the 2012 Super Bowl, General Motors will save approximately $3.8 million for every 30 seconds of commercials by not advertising in the next Super Bowl.

Turns out Facebook wasn't the only advertising vehicle that GM was doubting. Now the auto giant says it won't advertise during the next Super Bowl.

At a current rate of $3.8 million per 30 seconds for next year's big game, the cost is too much, global marketing chief Joel Ewanick told the Wall Street Journal.

"We understand the reach the Super Bowl provides, but with the significant increase in price, we simply can't justify the expense," Ewanick said in a statement.

The U.S. government still owns a stake in GM and one analyst speculates that the move could be related. “Some might even read into this move as a way for GM to cut more costs, boost its share price and make it appealing for the U.S. government to sell its stake in the automaker to allow it to shed its ‘Government Motors’ moniker,” said Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs in an emailed statement.

GM had a heavy commercial presence in last year's Super Bowl, highlighted by its 60-second end-of-the-world spot (see below) for the Chevy Silverado. Among the survivors were Chevy pickups and Twinkies. The spot also made a dig at rival Ford.

But Ford got in a jab of its own this week. After GM announced it was dumping paid advertising on Facebook because it didn't work, Ford not so subtly tweeted: "It's all about the execution. Our Facebook ads are effective when strategically combined with engaging content & innovation."

The last time GM sat out the Super Bowl was in 2009, around the time it was accepting $17.4 billion in government bailout money.