General Motors, which decided to drop its advertising on Facebook, is now pulling the plug on Super Bowl advertising as the No. 1 automaker seeks the most efficient way to spend its marketing dollars.

GM marketing guru Joel Ewanick says he likes the Super Bowl spots, but believes next year’s proposed $3.8M outlay for a 30-second spot is too rich for a company that spent $4.5B in advertising last year, according to its annual report.

Here’s an idea: Ewanick should forget both Facebook and Super Bowl and think along the lines of matchbook advertising.

New Hampshire’s D.D. Bean & Sons & Co., which has been making matches since 1938, would be proud to arrange a cost-effective package for penny-pitching Ewanick, who likes to post free content on Facebook, but doesn’t want to support the site financially.

Bean calls matchbooks “portable palm billboards” that deliver 20 direct advertising exposures with each light. An added bonus: every matchbook provides eight indirect exposures to other consumers.

Eighty-nine percent of consumers maintain the impression of a brand using matchbook advertising, according to a study by Lochridge & Co.

More than half of consumers (52 percent) don’t associate matchbook advertising with smoking. That non-association increases for male-oriented products like power tools, trucks, gasoline, beer and home improvement. Those categories are GM’s target market.

Think out of the box, Joel. Strike a deal with Bean. It will cost a pittance.

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