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GMC Evolves 'Professional Grade' Marketing

GMC Evolves 'Professional Grade' Marketing

There aren’t many automotive brands who can say they’ve had the same marketing tagline for 20 years, but GMC can say exactly that. GM’s truck brand has been using the “Professional Grade” marketing theme for over 20 years, with arguably a high degree of success over the years. However, GMC has decided it’s time to evolve its professional image.

Today GMC announced its new “Like A Pro” campaign. Obviously picking up off the brand’s marketing legacy, GMC says its new campaign “celebrates GMC vehicles and customers — people who passionately live life to a higher standard.”

“Our owners are dedicated individuals, respected by their peers, whose passion and abilities set them apart,” said Rich Latek, GMC marketing director. “Their values reflect our ‘Professional Grade’ spirit and we look forward to bringing that emotional connection to life. And we’re excited to show how we think our customers live their lives like pros.”

All of the new ads feature GMC Denali models, which now account nearly 30 percent of GMC’s sales volume. The lead ad (shown below) is called “How Do You Want To Live — Anthem” and will air in 30 and 60 second iterations. The brand will continue to evolve the campaign over time, including a “Dads Like A Pro” campaign on social media and in a commercial that features the emotional connection between a father and son.

Here again GMC proves it seems to be the only GM brand that can successfully manage a consistent marketing message, now handled “Like A Pro.”


About Nick Saporito

AutoVerdict Senior Editor Nick Saporito began writing about cars at age 13. Nick ran a couple of automotive enthusiast sites for several years, before taking some time off to focus on his career and education. By day he's a marketing executive in the telecom world and by night he hangs out here at AV. You'll find him focusing on tech, design and the industry's future.
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  1. 2b2

    Such a kissable face.
    it's worked for over 20 years...

    I think this is a good move. It's a small evolution, but one that will enable marketers at GMC to adapt the campaign to multiple demographics (such as the Dad's spot, etc.).

    How do you want to live your life? That's the underlying theme here and I think that's a good one.

    GMC continues to be the only brand at GM that can market Like A Pro. (I had to....).
    I get the need to evolve. GMC is moving to a more premium/luxury space and that's not necessarily aligned with the work tough image conjured up by Professional Grade. But ... when I hear 'professional grade' I tend to think of it's use in audio and video equipment where the finest quality and best durability is the 'professional grade' equipment. It often doesn't look fancy, but it's a step above consumer-grade stuff. That's not a bad place for someone like GMC to be (assuming others have the same associations!).

    'Like a Pro' to me is a step down. It isn't professional grade, but it's like the stuff pro's use. You see this a lot in athletic equipment where the pros use something highly specialized and consumers can buy something that looks similar but is optimized for bigger production, price and less intensive use. Like a pro sounds like a step down from professional grade

    Maybe it's just me, but the two concepts have a different association: professional grade feels like the optimized, best-of equipment pros actually use; like a pro sounds like the mass-market compromised version sold to consumers. I'd rather have the former over the latter!
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