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Saab's advertising off the mark

johnmarcojohnmarco Posts: 22
edited March 10 in Saab
First off, I wanted to post this in Saab general, but couldn't figure out how. So what the heck, I picked what looks like the most active Saab forum. On to my comments....

Am I the only one who finds Saab's current ad campaign totally off the mark? I like Saabs, always have. But I think that their focus on their aircraft heritage is pathetic. The cynical interpretation is that they can't think of great things to say about the cars they are trying to sell you. Instead, they fall back on "hey, we do/did planes too!" I realize that advertising is not intended to be too literal, but I think it is a big leap for consumers, even subconsciously, to equate the excitement of aircraft with the excitement of a Saab.
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Comments

  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    I think it's a good try, but yeah, it kinda stretches credibility a little.

    I think Saab would do really well in ads to recall their heritage in European rally racing. Heckuva tie-in with modern times, given who makes those Saab station wagons... ;)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,529
    Good thing Mitsubishi or BMW didn't take up the airplane angle :P

    I agree--this is Saab grasping at straws, but I can understand it. The company has a real identity crisis now. The cars are no longer "quirky" or unusual as they once were.

    It's ironic in a way, since they are so much better a car now than they ever were, when they were "adorable".

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  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    "Good thing Mitsubishi or BMW didn't take up the airplane angle"

    Whoops!

    It is too bad with the ads as well as with the sales. I had a Saab 99 years ago. (That is years ago I had a Saab 99 as opposed to 99 years ago I had a Saab, though sometimes it feels like it.) Back then you did have something of a connection to the jets because the same company that built your car was still building the planes. GM didn't buy that part. Kind of makes it ring hollow.

    Back then if you saw another Saab coming the other way you tended to flip your lights at them. I wouldn't think of doing that in a modern day Saab.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    The SAAB born from jets campaign is kind of like Volvo saying

    Born From...

    image

    Or this...

    image

    or this...

    image

    We have a SAAB dealer in our group and the new SAABs are so much better in every way but one. They just don't have that quirky saab soul anymore.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    My brother has an 02 Saab 9-3. It's probably about the last real Saab.

    Admitting that the new Saabs are better cars but they have lost anything the separate themselves from the pack.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,144
    Toyota - Born From:
    image

    Toyota still makes textiles, but you never see them bragging about their looms here.

    Some people like the Subaru Tribeca "aero" cockpit, but from the photos, it looks a bit cramped to me. Maybe Saab would be better off going back to the moose test ads.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,529
    VOLVO: Born from Buses!

    I love that! :P

    We could have had:

    "Studebaker: Born from Wagons!"

    Buick: Born from Porcelain Sinks!

    DeLorean: Born From....er...oh never mind...

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  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    DeLorean: Born From....er...oh never mind...

    image
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    I don't get what all the fuss is about ? What's wrong with Saab, using it's aircraft heritage as part of it's advertising for it's cars. Hell it sounds cool as every one thinks jets are cool. :shades:

    In all honesty I'd like to hear some of y'alls suggestion's for advertising the brand ?????? For example is their something catchy you might be able to use for the new
    08' 9-3 or for the brand as a whole ?

    -Rocky
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    I don't care much on the ads other than to find them silly. I'm more bothered by the fact that they've just about engineered every little bit of Saab out of them.

    Quirkiness is what made Saab desirable. Unless they can replace the quirkiness with something else more desirable I don't know how they continue long term.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,560
    They should do a heritge themed ad...show all the old quirky cars. Of course, that might not be so hot if they want to appear sporty...featuring something like a pea-green 1975 99 might not lure people in.

    Mercedes can do "born from other Mercedes"...
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    Great ad - show someone with one of those old 2 cycle Saabs putting the oil in with the gas....
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,144
    do a heritage themed ad

    Then everyone will want to buy an old Saab.

    Why I Want an Old Saab

    image

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  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    What year did Saab, get really involved with making cars safe ????? Was that in the early 80's ?

    I also didn't know that Saab, didn't makeaturbo engine until 78' :) Hell that was the year I was born meaningthe Saab Turbo tradition is 29 years old.

    -Rocky
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,529
    Saab produced the first full-production turbo sedan in the world.

    They were remarkable cars for their time but I think pushing one around today would be just a series of catastrophic failures. The 99 was a pretty lousy car unless you were a very handy backyard mechanic and had tons of NOS parts to draw from the bin. Headgasket failures and transmission failures were common.

    If you like older Saabs, a late 80s model 900 16V turbo would be the way to go, but never with the dreaded automatic transmission.

    SAAB ADVERTISING: I agree, some heritage ads might work. They could emphasize their great rally history for instance.

    Yeah, I'd leave out the 3 cylinder cars entirely....

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  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    Well with the New 9-3 available with AWD maybe SAAB should get back into Rally racing and do some advertising tie ins to their Rally history.

    Rally racing is becoming more and more and more popular in the US now.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,560
    I was thinking that too, Saab had some very competent rally cars back in the day.

    My original heritage comment was said in jest, but a rally themed ad could work, I'd like to see it for the old footage.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Saab produced the first full-production turbo sedan in the world.

    "Sedan" being the operative part of that sentence, since the earlier turbo cars (Jetfire, Corvair, 2002 Turbo, etc.) happened to not have back doors.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,144
    I happened to see a Saab 95 wagon this morning in great shape but didn't have my camera handy. The tail fins were noticeable. Probably an early 70's version.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,529
    True. You might say Saab had the first "mass-production", "modern", turbo sedan. Those other cars were at best, very limited, and rather unsuccessful designs. Really any turbo blowing through carburetors is kind of doomed. What a bad idea! (I think BMW used a fuel injected motor though, but in the 2002 coupe).

    Saab linked turbos to fuel injection and a full-size, practical 4-door, so really it's fair to say it was the first modern turbo sedan produced in significant numbers.

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  • johnmarcojohnmarco Posts: 22
    Maybe to properly judge the ad we have to know what the true intent is. Of course the ultimate intent is to get you into a new Saab. But what is the short-term intent of the ad itself?

    Is it simply to get me to watch the ad? If so, then for me it is a successful ad. It's actually exciting, watching the jets fly in formation, and I don't mind watching the ad whenever it comes up.

    I would say the "just get them to watch the thing" intent is what Geico does with its caveman ads. Those are hilarious to me and I watch them even if I can fast-forward. But they say nothing about the product.

    I assumed something else for the Saab ads though. I assumed they were really saying "hey, we made planes, and planes are difficult to do right, and planes are also exciting, so Saabs must be built by people who can do challenging things like planes, and Saabs must be exciting, so what the heck, go buy a Saab (please!)." And that is the intent I judged the ad on, and that is what I consider off the mark or even pathetic.

    While several people have pointed out the Saabness has been removed by GM, they are still cool cars in their own right.
    Saab can do better than discuss what they once did. They can tell us about these cool cars they are doing right now.
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    I’d like to pick up on a couple of things mentioned in comments regarding the Born From Jets advertising campaign and expand on them a little.

    Why is this important? The US is the single largest market for Saab (single country - I know Europe as a whole rivals it) so this campaign is pretty important and it seems to polarise people that visit here.

    Turbin argues in comments that a lot have blasted the campaign and perhaps gone a little over the top in doing so. Me included. He goes on to reason why the link is legitimate and I agree with him 100% for reasons I’ll outline below.

    I have been negative about the campaign from time to time, which is mainly a reflection of the feedback that’s received here about it. So allow me to air some fuller thoughts about it and about the Move Your Mind slogan that’s used elsewhere.

    The idea of Born From Jets resonates with me as an enthusiast. As an enthusiast I’m familiar with, and proud of, Saab’s history in aviation and the pioneering steps they took in developing their first automobiles. I’ve written previously on this site and others about why the claim of Born From Jets is relevant and worthwhile (here and here for example), and yes, I’ve also criticised it sometimes, too.

    I was drawn into Saab because I drove one. Not because of an ad that I saw. I don’t ever recall seeing Saab ads here in Australia and at the time I probably wouldn’t have taken notice anyway. A Saab seemed way out of my league when I was in my early 20s. As an enthusiast I now know a lot more and I can relate to the heritage. I felt a real sense of pride pulling up next to a mounted Viggen aircraft on the way back from Kinnekulle and taking photos there, knowing that my own car was named after that jet. It was great.

    But I wonder about the appeal it has to people that don’t know the brand. I wonder what it tells them about the performance of the car in real life?

    When I first got into Saabs the cars I saw and drove were noticeably different than the cars I was used to. And this is why the Move Your Mind slogan really resonates with me as an appropriate one for Saab to use.

    Another reason I like it is that Move Your Mind allows you to advertise anything about the brand. It’s a very broad concept that can be applied to a whole array of different features or philosophies. Whether it be a commercial about driving your convertible to the ski fields in winter or the benefits of a turbo-four vs a six-pot - the options a endless.

    Born From Jets seems to tie Saab into advertising one aspect of the cars and little else. Yeah, there’s several ways in which the jet heritage influences car design and I suppose individual ads could be made about each of these - design, performance, safety etc - all key components to Saab’s ethos. But that hasn’t happened so far and who knows if it will?

    Move Your Mind just seems to be an appropriate slogan that really offers itself to a myriad of options and a long term brand building effort, which is one of the things an advertising campaign should do.

    The other comment I’d like to feature here is one dealer’s feelings about what’s going on. He calls it a brain fart but I think that’s an attempt at self-effacing humour:

    con't.........
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    Allow me please, to add my .02 on this one and hopefully I will not offend anyone.

    The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. In my opinion, sitting here on the last day of the month watching tumble weed roll through my lot instead of customers, I am of the opinion that this ad strategy is a complete failure.

    Seeing as the vast majority of the public knows nothing about Saab, other than of course we built jets, would it not make sense to try and educate and inform? Something along the lines of fact-benefit selling..you know, The Saab 9-3 has been rated the Top Safety Pick from the IIHS three years running, which means to you Mr / Mrs. Consumer you and your family have a better chance of living when that drunk driver runs a red light and broadsides you. Gee Mr. / Mrs. Consumer, did you know Saab are experts in turbo charging which means to you power, performance and excellent fuel economy? Not the best I can think of as the numbness has really set in but I think you get the idea.

    The sales number look abysmal and hanging the success of the company on the new 9-3 facelift is nowhere near enough. Tell people about our cars. If you don’t want to let go of the BFJ theme at least tell people WHAT IT MEANS TO THEM.

    “Saab is Born From Jets, which means to you, the average person_____________. Fill in the blank somebody please!!!!!

    Thanks for sharing my brain fart with me.


    As I said, I can appreciate BFJ as an enthusiast because it means something to me. I’m not sure what it’d mean if I weren’t.

    http://www.trollhattansaab.net/archives/2007/11/more-on-born-from-jets.html

    I think these guys have some valid points. ;)

    I (Rocky) personally like Europes Saab Trademark slogan:
    "Move Your Mind" :shades:

    -Rocky
  • 2 threads about Saab... Jeeze, there is more threads about this corpse of a brand than soem other "livelier" brands! :P
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,532
    Yes, heritage (car, not plane) would be the way to go. My problem with the car ads is that there is not one person employed by Saab/GM that had anything to do with their jets. That division split out long ago, and claiming influence just smacks of so much bs. Their car heritage, on the other hand, could work, now that they're finally making some more-interesting models.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    Maybe we can get some ads on the heritage of 2 stroke engines....
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,532
    Maybe not that heritage, or the V4s...must be selective in our memories...
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    Well perhaps it would be more credible if GM, baught Saab's aviation division and then the claim of "Born From Jets" would actually mean something. ;) I guess I'm a supporter of the "Move Your Mind" slogan used in Europe. ;)

    -Rocky
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