Product placements within ads may be catching on

There was a 'hey, why don't we...' moment when a rock radio station in Oshawa, Ont. was concocting its latest billboard campaign.

‘We decided to use a GM vehicle in our current outdoor billboard campaign partly because it compliments the number-one employer in our market,’ Steve Macaulay, VP sales for 94.9 The Rock (CKGE-FM) tells MiC. ‘But we also did it because we had a specific target group in Oshawa – General Motors employees, with a core target group of males 35-54, and their suppliers who tune to Toronto rock radio. We wanted to portray an image of what our station is all about, which is licensed to rock.’

So did Macaulay’s team let GM in on their plan? ‘I called their marketing department and was referred to someone at their agency, who said it was no problem to use one of their images.’ Any feedback from GM? Not yet, he says, but the campaign (which includes billboards with two different creative treatments) won’t be over until next month. Macaulay did the media buying directly with Pattison and CBS Outdoor, while all the creative was done on contract by freelancer Jack Rotlewi.