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Saturn Found its
Voice in a Hurry on Oscar Night
Date: Feb 26, 2007
February 26, 2007
Saturn Found Its Voice In A Hurry on Oscar Night
I have been complaining for months, if not years, that
Saturn brand was groping for a clear
voice in its advertising. Last month, the GM division fired an excellent
agency, Goodby Silverstein &
Partners, and hired another excellent agency,
Deutsch/LA in the hopes of
ending the grope.
What a difference a month makes. Deutsch's first work for Saturn
debuted on last night's Academy Award telecast. A simple and wonderfully
executed idea, the ad spotlighted the fact that the Aura sedan won the
prestigious North American Car of the Year award, beating out the new
Toyota Camry no less. The ad shows Aura customers who bought the car
before the award was announced opening up a box with the award inside.
Huh? Saturn, it seems, is sending the award around to a number of
customers with the idea that after a period of time, they will send it
on, with Saturn paying the postage, so another customer can house it for
a brief time.
The idea fosters the sense of community Saturn's loyal customers have
felt over the years. It also reminds me of the way championship NHL
teams allow each member of the team to have a turn keeping the
Stanley Cup in
their homes during the course of the year.
The ad and the idea is successful because it returns Saturn to the
tonality it enjoyed during its launch some 16 years ago---a car, and a
brand for and about real people, and community. Another reason I like it
is that it gives Saturn a hook on which to hang a very important, in the
auto industry, award. It gives the award some context and a reason for
Saturn owners or would-be owners a reason to check out what the award is
Saturn marketers have been conflicted about its wholesome, almost
folksy past and the modern Euro-design direction it is now taking.
Though it's just one spot, I thought Deutsch's Oscar ad nailed it.