Turbin has written in letting me know about a full page ad from Subaru in the latest edition of Royal Auto magazine. This is the magazine sent to members of the various state automotive clubs here in Australia. I’m not a member of the RACT here in Tassie, so I haven’t received one, but the RACT offices are just up the road from me, so I’ll try and secure one at lunchtime.
Apparently, the Subaru ad claims that they’re the only automotive brand in Australia to have been awarded a 5-star rating by ANCAP for each model in their range. Turbin writes as follows:
They claim that they are the only car brand in Australia to have ANCAP 5 stars on all its car models. Now I understand that they might mean the “Stars on Cars” program whereby they put stickers their cars. But they mention it in a couple of different ways whereby it seems pretty clear to me that they claim to be the only company that has been awarded 5 stars also. Now granted, Saab has only two models but both are clearly 5 stars under ANCAP.
Turbin’s written to ANCAP for some clarification and I’ve just shot off a request to Subaru for comment. It’ll be interesting to hear what they have to say.
Of course, the other player in this is Saab Australia.
Their current emphasis is still on the Grrrrreen campaign, which has been a consistent message all year. It’s been a good message, too, but I can’t help but wonder why safety hasn’t been emphasised as well.
This isn’t just an issue with Saab Oz. There’s hardly a market anywhere in the world where Saab safety is a point of emphasis in their advertising.
When you think about it, it’s a little perplexing as you’d think a small company like Saab should be maximising every competitive advantage they have. Having a sixty year long history of emphasising safety, and consistent safety ratings at the pointy end of the scale is one heck of a competitive advantage.
So, Saab Australia, maybe it’s time to start building this safety message into the campaigns. I know it’s not sexy, but it’s substantial. At the end of the day, substance does pay off.
And may it’d be in order for Saab Oz to send off a “please explain” email to Subaru as well. They might be able to explain away the advertising as noted above with some technicalities, but it wouldn’t hurt to put them in a corner where they’re required to do so.