US: ‘Born from Jets’ to get afterburners

Good news this morning for US markets. There were criticisms earlier this year that Saab’s advertising was basically non-existant, and what there was was a bit of a sham anyway. Saab, under Debra Kelly-Ennis’ leadership was emphasising the fact that it was a little bit different, but little else.

Enter Jay ‘The Pharmacist’ Spenchian and my, how things have changed.

The “Born From Jets” campaign that commenced last weekend in the US seems to have been pretty well received in Saab circles and it’s to be followed up with an ongoing, very targeted campaign over the next few months.

From Brandweek:

Leslie Bublin, who became marketing director, Saab USA in June, said the GM division will amp up its “Born From Jets” campaign in December, after a dealer council meeting to study first-month results of the campaign. She suggested in an interview that the next phase will be more interactive and promotional.

The campaign launched this week with a 30-hour media-advertising blitz on network TV. For the first time, per Bublin, Saab will launch a heavy broadband advertising push as well, on sites like MSN and CNN. The cycle includes a six-week effort on CNN network in major airports nationwide, where “Our ads will run twice an hour ’round the clock,” she said, adding that Saab is also boosting print-media exposure, with ads in “over 20 magazines.”

If you haven’t seen the ad, click here to watch it (Quicktime): Saab Born From Jets

No word if they’d mix the ‘Jets’ campaign with the Saab 9-5 Unleashed campaign that’s been developed By Lowe Brindfors in Sweden. I like the Unleashed campaign a lot, but my guess is that they wouldn’t try and mix the two messages.

They will be mixing things up regardless, however….

Saab will also run an outdoor blitz in cities like LA, with dealerships pitching in dealer-group ad money to run six outdoor billboards. “Dealers have heavied-up with their own funds to do that, in November and December” said Bublin.

“We are doing a fire-hose media approach for the fourth quarter,” she said, adding that the company is aiming this week to reach 75 million impressions for the initial 30-hour blitz.

Bublin, who came to Saab from Cadillac, where she worked under current Saab General Manager Jay Spenchian, added that Saab will follow a tactic Cadillac used for launching cars like CTS, in January 2002.

“Part of ‘Phase Two’ will be taking vehicles into unexpected areas. It’s what we did at Cadillac, where for two or three days we would go in and ‘take over’ a part of Chicago or Miami.” In the latter city, Cadillac suspended one of the new CTS cars over Biscayne Bay from a crane.

The US is, of course, a critical market for Saab’s success. Here’s hoping that the ad blitz serves it’s purpose and begins to build some momentum so that sales in the US can turn around as they have done in other markets.

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  1. This is wonderful news. I like the “Born from Jets” theme a lot – certainly better than “State of Independence”, which seemed like a watered-down Saturn tagline (and was absurd on its face, as Saab’s switch to that tagline coincided with its being bought out 100% by GM!). Saabs have simply not been supported with decent advertising for years (not since the account left the Martin Agency, which did most of the US ads in the “Saab vs.” campaign – great work that still looks fresh years afterward). The print ads they’ve been running in the last 2 years have been terrible. Let’s not even mention the television – ghastly.

    Saab’s real problem is NOT build quality (although there’s always room for improvement). It’s that outside of some Saab-heavy areas in the US (New England, the Mid-Atlantic/DC area, and Northern California), nobody even knows Saab exists.

    Born from jets is cool. Hope it helps…I’m saving up for the 9-3 250hp aero, myself. In gray, with the big wheels. Yummy.

  2. I wonder what dealers in L.A. are putting up the funds for this billboard campaign. There are only three SAAB dealers in the entire metropolitan L.A. area (including “the O.C.”): Santa Monica SAAB, Sherman Oaks SAAB, and SAAB of Santa Ana. I don’t think that these dealers are that large or that active. I’m pleasantly surprised.

  3. Actually Saab of Santa Ana is the largest in California. That’s where I see GM could lend more of a hand to Saab, since there are more Hummer dealers than Saab. LA has generally been a good area for Saab, but not nearly as good as Audi and Volvo which have more dealers in more locations.

    But if Saab gets some huge bilboards around LA, it should help somewhat.

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