Dutch 9-3 release – what a drag

Some years ago, a few of the characters created by the brilliant Barry Humphries were used to advertise Toyotas. You international types may not know the name Barry Humphries, but if I mention the name Dame Edna Everage then you might know who I’m talking about.

I’m not sure if this is the same thing, but Saab Netherlands have taken a novel approach to their release of the 2008 Saab 9-3. Jeroen sent me through some info on this release, this morning.

Dutch Saab 9-3 Dutch campaign: “The new 9-3, for warm people with true feelings”

In his transvestite creation Margreet Dolman, Dutch comedian Paul Haenen is the new figurehead in the introduction campaign for the new 9-3. A couple of years ago Haenen had a popular tv-show as Margreet Dolman. Best known for his/her warm and in-depth interviews, a little provocative with a great sense of humour. You can compare her with Ruby Wax.

The campaign consists of virals and print. It will be an ‘in between campaign’. Saab Netherlands works on a new marketing communication strategy. There is a special website: http://www.nieuwesaab93.nl with a written introduction by her and the first of short clips in which she shows the car in her own way. The launch was at the Dappermarket in Amsterdam. Margreet appeared as an over-enthusiastic car saleswoman.

Jeroen’s thoughts seem to echo my own: I don’t know what to think about this campaign. I have an advertising agency myself and this is not what I would have advised. But it is far out of the ordinary so maybe it will work.

Dutch Saab 9-3

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  1. It is hard for me to comment since it is not available in English. I would love to be able to read it. Maybe another TS reader could translate???

  2. Trust me, there is nothing interesting to read on this campaign and website. It almost makes me feel ashamed being Dutch.. Couldn’t they come up with something more intelligent?

  3. I don’t understand a word of Dutch, but the video was hilarious. [Sarcasm] Maybe the U.S. campaign will feature our favorite drag artist and Presidential aspirant, Rudy Giuliani?

  4. I’m not a professional translator, but I give it a try…

    Dear Saab internet viewers!

    Well that’s me, as a figurehead for the new Saab 9-3. Yes really, I’m a figurehead now. The dream of every girl. It’s not uncomfortable because, honest, I am devoted to the new Saab 9-3. Maybe it’s strange, to fall in love with a car, but it happened to me. It caused emotions at first sight. It touched my tender spot.

    First I felt abnormal till I met someone who had fallen in love with de Saab 9-3 also. And this person knew others with the same feelings and now we gonna start a group.

    Why do you fall in love with a car? I think it was the comfort and the atmosphere that give me those warm feelings. And now that I discovered the automatic gear, I’m a bit emotional lately. I never had problem with a manual gear but a world with automatic gear is like a paradise. It’s so quiet, it gives so much freedom; you reach entirely yourself. Let the car do the work and relax yourself. You do the driving and feel at ease. Funny, isn’t it? You feel save and have the opportunity to come to deeper thoughts. That’s what a Saab does to you as a human being.

    Of course it takes some effort. If you lead a shallow live, a Saab won’t give you any deeper thoughts out of the blue. Well… maybe it does. It is possible that it gives you inner peace so that you can come to deeper thoughts. Strange that a car can have that much influence on your live.

    Of course, if you feel at ease in your car, you feel at ease at home and at work. If you’re a quiet and pleasant driver, you will be quiet and pleasant person outside the car. People who drive a lousy car often are moody and have a lousy marriage and lousy children. But people with a warm peoples’ car, often do have a very good marriage, adorable children and soothing pets.

    Everything has to do with everything. Also making choices. People who dare to make a clear choice, will do so for other people, houses and their car. People who can’t choose will follow the taste of the neighbours or their family. But you do have people who like to choose something special. They determine their own path in live and enjoy their freedom very much. Those are warm people with true feelings.

    Maybe it takes more effort to go your own way but the reward will be immensely. Happiness is within reach. Really. But enough talking, you can better drive a Saab yourself. Then you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

    Margreet Dolman

  5. Typical Dutch; Except being the dutch semanstreet voice of bert (or was it ernie?) Paul Haenen, the actor playing Margreet is a complete wacko-entertainer. And that’s OK.
    On the other hand, i can’t figure out why saab took this character as a front-‘man’ for their campaign. The vid is completely silly (oh, what nice to get on this highway, first being not part, just being on the side of it, and then being part of it; or nonsense like giving a litlle ‘kiss’ on the saab in front at the junction, and what to think about drinking at the McDonald-stuff whithout looking at the traffic, and even saying this can be done while driving – complete the opposite all saab-safety is about).
    When it was really necessary to put a female on top of the boot, they might considered somthing blond , young and attractive? I will not link to any sites (you’ll get the picture), but there are better alternatives in my opinion.
    And they better did something more in a driver’s car spirit, like I hoped saab belgium was doing something with saab-performance team at francorchamps for example. But no, it”s all grey scandinavian design, the emphasis is on.
    Besides, anybody knows what happened to the safran-yellow? Doesn’t show up anywhere.

  6. Is this guy’s character like the Dutch version of Tyler Perry’s Madea character?? Though a hilarious character, definitely not one I’d see promoting a car, let alone a Saab.

  7. I have to correct a little my previous comment, at the belgian saabsite, it’s more driver orientated.
    TTiD is even being sold under AERO-label.
    I would prefer a safran yellow convertible with TTiD above the flower-power-clothed Margreet Dolman.

  8. Well, we hear and read the word “quirkie” associated with SAAB; perhaps the shoe, or should I say high heal fits and that’s what the ad agency was going for.

  9. This definitely makes Born from Jets look good. Yessireebob, we’re keepin’ BFJ. Jets and cars, good. Drag racing and cars, good. Drag and cars without jets, not so much.

    Margreet aan boord. Nooit!

  10. BaRa,
    go from main saab.be site (choose ‘nederlands’) down to specific site “De nieuwe Saab 9-3”,
    When this microsite opens, SImon Padian starts talking about the design highlighs. Don’t start listening at him, go further on the curved track below left straitght to No. “5 Turboprestatie”, the photo in the middels shows then a 9-3 SportHatch from the back. If you click left of the car some moving horsepower and torque diagrams (255 hp V6) show up at the back. If you click on those, a small frame will open with on the left the 1,9 TTiD-logo and some text on the right. In this frame the option ‘Rationeel’ will be active (down left). If you click on ‘Emotioneel’, the frame changes towards a text with a cloudy background.
    If i translate freely:

    “The New TTiD Two-Stage turbodiesel.
    What can be better, in case of performance, than a turbo-engine ? Well two of those. Driving the new Saab 9-3 with Two-Stage turbo engine under the bonnet rewards you with a sensational experience. Floor the right pedal and feel the two turbo’s accelerating the car always faster – the power keeps coming. You will understand why this is the first dieselengine that is worth to be installed in the Aero-range.”

    On the other hand, starting from main saab.be-site and go to any 9-3, under “Techn. specificaties” only the already known engines are listed, 1,8i / 1,8t / 2,0T / 2,8 TS / 1,9 TiD (120) / 1,9 TiD (150). And the new 1,8t BioPower (175) / 2,0t BioPower (200).

    If you check the pricelist the 1,9 TTiD is mentioned under Aero : listed at € 33.950,- for the Sedan and € 35.550,- for the Hatch (Manual).

    I’m still wondering about the safran yellow.
    Suppose the colours faded between Trollhattan and Belgium and someone in Danemark, Germany or the Netherlands turned them in a silly Pepper Green.

  11. Since they re-introduced INCA-style wheels, why they didn’t add some more bright colours in true 70’s style. Some ORANGE or MINT GREEN (on both 9-3 and 9-5) please ?

  12. @Wilfried: talking about hiding something… The thing that confused me is that they don’t have it in the online configurator, while they do offer the TTiD (also in Aero Config) on the German site.

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