New 9-5 Ad

Saab USA are releasing (oops, have released) a new ad for the 9-5. It’s fitting in with its “Born From Jets” little brother and features the SAAB Gripen fighter jet. Which poses an interesting point – people who are against the campaign say “aw, they don’t have anything to do with jets anymore”. True, the car company is separate from the jet company nowadays, but the aircraft people don’t have any problem with their imagery being used in the car company’s ads. The core of both companies is still in the same neck of the woods.

But I digress.

Well, whilst I’m digressing, let me digress even a little further.

The 9-5 is a freaking good car. Undersold and underappreciated. I’ve stated all this before. Perhaps Saab could use their own customers in their advertising (probably a silly idea really, but the enthusiasm shows through). This is Barry W commenting after my drive of the 9-5 Aero:

I have owned a 2001 9-5 Aero (5 speed Manual) for 5 months now, having traded in a ’99 Subaru Impreza. I find that the Saab out handles and out accelerates the Subaru hands down. This is one fantastic car that demands to be driven home by the longest route every day. The luggage capacity is phenomenal: having made a run to Ikea the other day, I had the car full to the brim with flat pack. Everything fitted in, no problem at all. This has got to be the most underrated car of all time. I have driven a few exotics in my time (Lambo Diablo SV, Maseratti 3200GT, Dodge Viper to name but a few) but for the practicalities of a daily driver, and one of the safest cars on the road, the Saab is very hard to beat. The acceleration through the gears is breathtaking, the handling is very good with lots of grip from the wide tyres, ride is very comfortable over bumpy ground (even with the low profiles) and everybody who has the privilege of being a passenger comments on how smooth and classy the car feels. Drive one if you can…own one if possible.

I’d put Barry in an ad. Cheers, mate.

Ok, now that I’ve double digressed, it’s back to the new 9-5 Ad campaign. Here’s the new print ad. There’s a new TV commercial too, which is detailed in the press release following the print ad. You can see the TV ad on the 9-5 page ofthe SaabUSA website. I’ve just watched it about 6 times and it’s fantastic!

Click to enlarge the ad below.

9-5 Page-FINALsm.jpg

ATLANTA – Saab Automobile USA continues its successful “Born From Jets” campaign with new advertising that features its redesigned flagship, the 2006 Saab 9-5 Sedan. The new ads represent the reaffirmation and continuation of Saab’s aircraft-inspired marketing strategy.

Saab’s latest television commercial, called “Head-to-Head,” shows a face-off between the 9-5 and a Saab Gripen jet fighter aircraft. The spot opens on the Gripen as it begins to roll down a runway. Cut to the 9-5 as it accelerates toward the jet from the opposite direction. A voiceover reads, “The aerodynamic principles that keep a Saab jet in the air help the Saab 9-5 remain firmly on the ground.” Just as the jet is about to meet the car, it lifts off the runway and the 9-5 speeds under the aircraft. The ad concludes with the voiceover, “When you used to build jets, you don’t just build another car.”

For 2006, the 9-5 undergoes a thorough refresh that includes bolder exterior design, updated interior materials, horsepower increased to 260 hp, chassis enhancements and new instrumentation and “infotainment” systems. The Linear, Arc and Aero models have been merged into a single model – the 2.3T – in 4-door Sedan and 5-door SportCombi body styles.

The “Born from Jets” campaign, which was created by Lowe New York, kicked off in fall 2005. Featuring the 9-7X, Saab’s first-ever SUV, the new 9-3 SportCombi five-door and a new 250-hp turbo V-6 engine in all 9-3 Aero models, it supports the most aggressive product expansion in Saab’s nearly 60-year history as an automaker. “Born from Jets” was called “one of automotive history’s greatest marketing taglines” by Advertising Age magazine.

Saab Automobile USA General Manager Jay Spenchian said Saab has genuine performance credentials, but that not enough people are aware of this premium European brand. On top of that, Saab must set itself apart from other car makers that claim “performance” as their brand promise. Spenchian said by reaching into Saab’s history, his team arrived at a solution that addresses both issues.

“Jets are inherently cool – they represent speed, control, safety, quality and reliability. Saab is the only car company that can claim such a heritage. Nobody else can say ‘what our founding engineers knew about thrust and power inspired us to build a more exciting vehicle’ or ‘what they knew about keeping pilots alive inspired us to build a safer vehicle.’ This is unique to Saab and it really resonates with potential customers.”

Indeed, according to Saab research:
• The “Born From jets” ads are well recognized and very strongly linked back to Saab
• The ads clearly stand out from other automotive ads. They excel at communicating something different and unique about the Saab brand
• The ads help communicate advanced technology, performance and quality of Saab vehicles
• In doing so, the ads make the vehicles more appealing to customers and increase their interest in obtaining more information about Saab.

“ ‘The Born from Jets’ strategy is working,” said Mark Wnek, chairman and chief creative officer of Lowe New York. “The value of connecting Saab to its aircraft heritage is real. As Saab continues to introduce new products like the 9-5, the campaign will continue to appeal to consumers on both emotional and rational levels.”

“Head-to-Head” will air during the Olympics on NBC, MSNBC and USA. The campaign also includes print, online components and direct mail for the 9-5. Print advertising will run in upscale publications including Esquire, Vogue, Details, Car&Driver, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. The online components include internet banners and website updates.

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15 Comments

  1. Yes, definetely a great commercial. I watched it over 30 times now, no joke. I remember couple years ago, believe it or not, when they did advertise the 9-5, they had it doing a 180-degree turn at the end of the commercial. Im glad they pulled that in this one too. I like this one better than the 9-3 commercial[s].

  2. Hey guess what? I’m in Gothenberg on business for the next day or 2. All the taxis seem to be V70 Volvos which is what you might expect, but what is interesting and why I’m sending you ths note is there are also many Saabs. But not many 9-3s, almost all are 9-5s and again mostly wagons. In fact I haven’t seen a 9-3SC yet!
    Do you think the Swedes know more than they are telling?????

  3. I’m guessing what some people object to is in the “Born from Jets” commercials the voiceover actually says, “When you used to build jets, you don’t just build another car”, implying that the current SAAB used to build jets.

    An argument can be made either way.

  4. I saw that new commercial a couple of days ago while watching the Olympics (can you believe both USA AND Canada got knocked out of hockey medal contention so early!?!?), and I can SWEAR it didn’t have that little disclaimer at the bottom of the screen indicating that the aircraft and car companies are no longer affiliated that the one on the SAAB-USA website does. I think I would have noticed it because I played the commercial over a few times (I have TiVo) when I saw it on TV and didn’t see the disclaimer, but the first time I watched it on the website I noticed it. I wonder if they had to add this later?

  5. Wow. The new 9-5 looks really good in that picture, which is in complete contrast to what I’ve thought all along. I really wish the nearest Saab dealership wasn’t so SO far away so I could see one in real life….

  6. Mag-X: no offense to SAAB intended, but they use some weird kind of fisheye lens (or Photoshop technique) to make their cars look better. I think Swade alluded to it sometime here in the past couple of days.

    I’ve never owned a 9-5, so maybe I really shouldn’t be commenting on this, but the recent 9-5 “facelift” (or mid-cycle refreshment or whatever…) seems to me to be more of a cost-reduction program.

    They made the front-end out to evoke the Mauer look of the 9-X, but it’s now in doubt whether that’s the future direction of SAAB design. Will the 9-3 refresh have a similar front end before they come out with the next-gen models that will likely have the Nesbitt front end of the Aero-X?

    I know, I probably should take some pills to be less negative, but to offset my negativity let me point out that I’m trying to sell my mom on a 9-5. Sure it’s a pre-’06 model I’m trying to interest her in though. Those had “only” 250 bhp, but with a chip it could actually be more than the 260 of the current 9-5 Aero. Not that my mom needs that sort of thing. 😉

  7. COOL AD, fab plane, ugly car. If a Saab lover, aka moi, says that how are you gonna convince Joe Average to buy a 9-5? I do lovge the message that the ads are trying to put across and I hope they are successful in bringing more drivers into the Saab family.

    PS I want Swade’s Viggen!!

  8. Great commercial, the 06 9-5 is a nice looking car.

    The new design is very sleek, especially in person.

    I saw one recently at the dealer side by side with an 06 9-3SC and it makes the 9-3, and similarly the 05 9-5, look dated and plain. Quite remarkably so.

  9. Careful Aeronaut. Them’s fightin words to some people around these parts!!

    Actually, the car in the commercial looks quite smart and I think we’ll all forget a lot of the hoo-ha that happened when the pics were first released of the 06 9-5.

    It’s just me, Dave Matthews Band and a paint brush today. Life is good (except for the painting).

  10. Aeronaut, Swade warned you.

    I think you need to get those rose coloured glasses off and see the car for what it is……the 208 Chevy Impala! 😉

  11. They are laser red coloured glasses! Same colour as my Aero 9-5. Also I have driven a Chevy Impala, and believe me it ain’t no Saab nor could it ever be one.;-)

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