GE Capital Corp. has launched a national advertising campaign that is giving Polaris Industries a free ride.
The campaign, which began last Saturday in newspapers, on network and cable television stations and on websites, is designed to promote GE Capitals’s partnerships with its customers.
Russell Wilkerson, a spokesman for Norwalk, Conn.-based GE Capital, declined to disclose the value of the campaign. GE Capital is a subsidiary of Fairfield, Conn.-based General Electric Co.
GE Capital’s web site for the campaign explains that it helped Polaris manage dealer inventory during the economic downturn and it also talks about the buyer financing offered by GE.
The 30-second Polaris TV spots are scheduled to run through Aug. 8 on several network programs, including NBC Nightly News, ABC’s This Week, CBS’ Criminal Minds drama and Major League Baseball coverage on FOX. There’s also a print campaign with ads in USA Today, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
In the TV spot, which also can be viewed online, Polaris CEO Scott Wine is riding an ATV in a desert in California along with Tom Orluck, a GE Capital Relationship Executive who actually has an office in Polaris’ headquarters.
A voiceover says, “At GE Capital, loaning money is the start of a relationship, not the end. At GE Capital, we succeed only when they do.”
The text on the screen says, “GE Capital is invested in Polaris” and it gives the website gecapital.com/polaris.
Wine, in an interview, said the campaign was designed to highlight the “truly great partnership we have with GE Capital. It is longstanding and it serves us and our dealers well.”
A 50-50 partnership between GE Capital and Polaris called Polaris Acceptance provides inventory financing for the 1,400 independently owned Polaris dealerships across the country. In addition, more than 90 percent of the dealers offer credit from GE Capital to consumers of Polaris vehicles.
Polaris has its own advertising campaign as well, which includes print and broadcast, but its budget is smaller than GE’s.
Wine said the campaign has exceeded his expectations and generated calls and e-mails since it has aired. He said GE’s production was first-rate, noting there were about 100 people in the desert shooting the commercials.
“We at Polaris are getting a lot of mileage out of it,” he said.