Love it or loathe it, Buick’s successful “That’s a Buick?” marketing campaign is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. However, you’re about to see some changes in how that message is delivered, according to Ward’s Auto.
Tony DiSalle, VP of Marketing for both Buick and GMC, told the news outlet the ads will soon transition to focus on key vehicle features and away from the broader, overall brand communication spots that have been blasting eye balls for 13-months on national television.
So far the campaign’s been “overwhelmingly successful,” according to DiSalle.
The main crux behind the ads is to shatter consumers “false familiarity” of the Buick brand, says the exec.
“There are people who know Buick, people who don’t know Buick and people who think they know Buick,” DiSalle during a speech at the Adcraft Club of Detroit. “We targeted people who think they know Buick, but have a false familiarity.”
That’s why the ads, created by Detroit agency Leo Burnett, try to shatter the perceptions many associate with out-of-production Buick models like the Century and LeSabre (lumbering boats that can still be often be found parked outside bingo halls, if not piled in the scrap yard).
“They are antiquated billboards for Buick driving around the U.S.,” the exec admitted to Ward’s.
The ads look to realign those perceptions with the Buicks of today, like the Encore and Regal. That’s a job tough considering that 80% of Buick vehicles on the road today, or roughly 500,000 units, no longer are being built, according to Ward’s.
Buick sales were up 11.4 percent last year to 228,963, however sales so far this year are down 4.7 percent, though DiSalle blames that on the consumer shift towards CUVs and away from sedan-laden lineups like Buick. No wonder Encore sales have surged 30.5% through April to 5,587 units.
The exec says he and his team closely monitor Nielsen data to ensure the message doesn’t grow stale by.
The consensus? “It’s not even close to wearing out,” he told Ward’s.
Maybe Buick is taking some advice from a certain April Fool’s story.