Favorite Advertising Campaign (with clever links!)

Someone asked me recently: “What’s your favorite advertising campaign?”

As a Marketing student, you’d think I’d be able to answer it right away.  Of course, the limitation was that I shouldn’t/can’t say Apple because everyone thinks that, and for that matter I should probably throw out Target as well.  Everyone loves Apple’s and Target’s campaigns.  They’re pretty creative.

So since I’m sitting here putting off studying for my Management Information Systems test tonight, I figured I’d go ahead and talk about mine.

As a car guy, I pay attention to automobile advertisements, whether in magazines, in commercials, or on billboards.  And since I’m under the age of 25, I tend to prefer non-domestic vehicles, it’s just the way us Generation Yers are.  We tend to prefer foreign makes, especially Japanese.  My generation seems to be big on functional sport compacts that are reliable and fun to drive.  And because of this, we tend to hate American cars.  When asked to make a chart of car brands of quality vs. price, almost everyone in my Consumer Behavior class consistently placed Ford, Chevy, and Dodge on the bottom quadrants, i.e. low quality.  Saturn?  Well it ranked last.

“Buhh…buu….but Jason, what about the GREAT reviews domestic cars are receiving these days?!”

I know, you’re telling me, but this was about consumer perception.  You can have the greatest car in the world, but if people think it’s a piece of shit, well, it’s not going to sell.  That’s the problem with the American car industry, they’re finally focusing on good cars people will buy, but they just expect the consumer to stop buying Hondas and Toyotas right away.  You need to change people’s minds about it first.

That’s why Saturn’s RETHINK. campaign really struck a chord with me.  If you haven’t noticed, Saturn is putting out some really nice looking people-movers these days.  And I’m not just talking about the Sky, I’m talking about their new sedans, especially the Astra.  No longer does Saturn have that “you can throw a kitchen sink at our car and it won’t make a dent in it’s hideous structure” attitude anymore, but rather they’re making quality vehicles that actually look nice for once.  Let’s not forget what Saturns used to look like

You’ve all seen the commercial, the guy walks into a Saturn dealership, looks around and sees the cars.  With a startled look on his face, he steps outside and checks the sign.  Of course the salespeople inside are all smug with satisfaction (as if they designed the cars, losers), and tell the guy that he is indeed looking at all Saturn automobiles.

In a recent Automobile magazine I received, Saturn had an extensive advertisement with the same mentality.  Basically, “rethink what you know about Saturn.”  And indeed I did, after avoiding the section for a long time, I found myself in the bathroom with nothing to read, so of course with my chagrin I read the advertisement discretely masked as a real article (clever little bastards, I guess I should take notice of the “A special advertising promotion” on the bottom in really small hard to read text, advertisers think they’re so clever).  Not only does the section show how nice the cars look these days, but they also discuss the new technology Saturn is developing in the Hybrid sector and saving the environment (blah blah blah who’s tired of hearing that?).

“Well Jason that’s nice, but it’s not BRILLIANT!”

Well, the reason I picked Saturn was all because of what happened to me.  You see, Saturn was a sponsor of the Cooper River Bridge Run (for those of us who would’ve rather driven over the Ravenal Bridge), and had a few cars in the park by the finish line for people to check out and even sit in.  I had seen the cars in the advertisements and such, but I was blown away when I saw them in person.  So in fact, I began to RETHINK. Saturn as a car company.

Go figure.

SO.  What’s your favorite?

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Posted on April 15, 2008, in Advertising. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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