Saab USA change ad companies

It’s all happening in the US at the moment.

The 2008 Saab 9-3 has been unveiled. It’s already been mentioned that they’re going to have a slightly increased budget in the next few months. Now there’s news from the Detroit Free Press that they’re taking their money and spending elsewhere.

Saab’s US advertising has been with Lowe Worldwide and Saab have relationships with the Lowe group in other countries as well. I’ve always enjoyed their work, too, so it’s kind of surprising that Saab will be changing what’s largely seen as a good thing. New blood can be a good thing, however, so we’ll wait and see what the new agency can do with Saab’s expanding range over the next 18 months.

General Motors Corp. is bringing some advertising work back to Detroit, and the big winner is McCann Erickson’s Birmingham office.

The automaker plans to announce Friday that it will move its $55-million Saab account to McCann from Lowe Worldwide, according to a source familiar with the situation.

McCann is about to lose the advertising account for Buick that it’s held for almost 50 freaking years! So Saab’s money will be more than a little welcome. One could question why a parent company would dump an ad agency for one brand and hand them another, but mine is not to reason why.

Will they keep Born From Jets? Will they do something new?

They’ll have a 2008 Saab 9-3, the Turbo X, the 9-7x Aero and the coming 9-3x as new vehicles to work with. That’s a fair bit of fodder and the current ads are getting a little tired if I’m reading the wind correctly, so here’s hoping McCanns have their thinking caps on and are ready to get creative.

In a classy way, of course.

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  1. “One could question why a parent company would dump an ad agency for one brand and hand them another, but mine is not to reason why.”

    Because they will dump the Buick brand? Look at the sales figures for the brand this year. On the other hand, what if marketing was one reason for that…

  2. More words for McCann Erickson: “BORED with Jets!” I know, my complaints are getting about as long in tooth as “Born from Jets”.

    My dealer in Rockville, Maryland got their first shipment of MY-2008 Combis yesterday. The Aero is definetly tight! Still tying to get my Turbo-X order in.

  3. McCann Erickson is the creator of the acclaimed and long-running MasterCard campaign (altho it’s their NYC office). Let’s hope the Born from Jets tag comes down or there’s at least a variation on the theme, although Saab needs some branding consistency.

  4. ‘Born from Jets’ cannot go away soon enough. The UK commercial from the ’80’s Swade posted the other day was very cool, but that was the ’80’s…it’s a bit contrived for Saab to have a jet in their commercials now that they are in the General’s stable.

  5. Yes VOB… Do you want pics of the dealership or the car(s)?

    Not sure I’ll be up there again very soon, though. As you may know there are only 3-4 Saab dealers in the Washington DC area and VOB is the easiest to get to BUT it is 40 miles from my home. I might be able to make a special trip just to take the boy on the metro. He’s 4 and LOVES every kind of train. He calls the Metro the “Subway Metro Bullet Train”. Give me some ideas of what you’re looking for in terms of shots and I’ll try not to get arrested. 🙂

  6. am i correct in drawing a connection between Steve Shannon, Buick, Saab and the McCann Erickson ad agency? When Mr. Shannon left Buick, GM pulled the Buick account from McCann. Now he’s at Saab and maybe liked their work? Didn’t his time at Buick coincide with Buick’s rise in sales? Does he give McCann some of the credit? 🙂 or, am I reading too much into this…

  7. anyway, I think Tiger Woods would look better in a Saab anyday over the Buick ads…I always thought it strange that Tiger sold Buicks…

  8. The first thing they should do is get that blackbird ad on the air. Swade, remember the ad created in CGI featuring the Aero-X?

    Icy cool.

    Man, I would have sooooooo many awesome ideas for Saab adverts, and the whole Ice Cool Euro slant would be nailed down a treat. Starting with getting the blackbird ad on the screens!!

    For those that have forgotten, I’m sure Swade could dig out the link again, heck, it’s probably even worth another entry on the site for newcomers 🙂

  9. I hate to say it but I have NEVER ever seen a SAAB ad in the US. I have to say that Swade and all of you guys turned me on to SAAB. I just knew I wasn’t happy with run of the mill, everybody has one cars. I am now in the most comfortable, best handling car I have ever owned, and I am older than dirt, and have had lots of cars.

  10. I never liked the “ready-steady-go” music as I’ve also heard it advertising something else, and don’t like the music anyway – to each his own. “Bored from Jets” is definitely right on the mark. Talk about the cars and what’s great about them, and that “people who test drive a SAAB usually end up buying one.”

  11. I’d really like to see a HUGE change. Bring the brand in line with Europe. Drop “Born from Jets” and pick up “move your mind”.

    I wouldn’t mind ads that harken back to “state of independecne”. Those were some great music, with a lot happening, awesome shots of the cars, and get to lern alot about what makes a Saab. Plus they always had good music.

    No more playing off of aircraft heritage.

  12. Juat a few random thoughts:

    Car ads in the US are pretty much all the same. Music+Car shots=Ad … some mix in a witty line, but that’s pretty much it. VW (Agencies: Arnold Worldwide, Crispin Porter + Bogusky) and Mini (Crispin Porter + Bogusky) have had success with different approaches — and MINI did it without using TV ads … so it should be easy to stand out, you just have to be willing to do something different.

    The link to aircraft heritage isn’t bad, espcially when it strongly implies high-technology, speed, responsiveness and even comfort (to a certain degree). However, having the EXACT same commercial for different models defeats that benefit. (I like BFJ, but the execution right now is very tired.)

    I like the “after all, when you’ve built jets – you don’t build ‘just another car'” line. It really does define the brand as different, without resorting to picky details or coming off as arrogant.

    I fully expect that SAAB will actually begin to play up the aircraft heritage MORE in the design of future models … some of the cockpit of the AeroX hints that this could be especially true in the interiors. ** I’d bet on this **

  13. I agree with you 100% chaaalie!

    I don’t dislike BFJ, just that it’s been dragged out. They could use it as an alternate.. ?

    I like “move your mind” too, as it apeals to intellectuals, to which saabisti are. 😉

    Keep in mind the new campaign for the MB C300 is something along the lines of them describing how they crashed so many and spent so much… “Any why? Becuase we promised you a Mercedes-Benz.” Pretty good tagline, not original, but makes you nod your head. We need something sophisticated and simple for a slogan.

  14. Nevitz: I’ve seen a couple of those Mercedes C300 commercials the past few days and I have to say that they’re very good. I never even considered a Mercedes before, but the commercials explained why I should want one.

    I’m sorry but a formation of obviously CGI jets flying above a SAAB driving across a desert with techno music playing is just weak. It doesn’t explain why I should buy that car instead of the dozens of other choices out there. So what if SAAB was founded by 16 aircraft engineers? Why should I care?

    Hopefully this new agency drives things in the right direction (no pun intended), but I am worried that they weren’t good enough for Buick, but they’re good enough for SAAB?

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