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:
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.