New Saab Brand Campaign



3/02

New Saab Brand Campaign Captures the Exhilaration of Driving Sweden's Most Athletic Export

Saab paves the road for the company's most aggressive product program ever by inviting consumers to get behind the wheel and drive

Norcross, GA - Saab Cars USA has launched a new brand advertising campaign, the latest step in a series of initiatives that are preparing the marketplace for an unprecedented schedule of new Saab vehicle introductions. The new brand campaign's message captures the very core of what has differentiated the Saab brand throughout its 54-year history-driving a Saab delivers exhilaration at every twist and turn of the road.

Saab, which intends to double its U.S. sales by the end of 2004, will roll out six new models or concepts over the next five years, beginning with the 2002 Saab 9-5. The company's new campaign debuted nationally during February, just as the redesigned Saab 9-5 performance sedans and sport wagons made their first appearance in showrooms across the country.

The enjoyment of driving a Saab is conveyed in the new brand campaign to reinforce the emotional connection that buyers quickly make with their Saabs. Lowe Worldwide, Saab Cars USA's advertising agency, developed a series of three new creative executions that showcase the extent to which Saab drivers love to be-and stay-behind the wheel.

For example, one of the newest ads shows what might happen to someone who has never driven a Saab before. The television spot opens with an individual on a spirited Saab test drive. With obvious enjoyment, the driver carves up the road, mile after mile. While the smile on the face of the driver doesn't change, the color of the car does-repeatedly. It is a test drive that never quite concludes. When the customer does ultimately return to the dealership, it is only to swap keys for another Saab-in the color that the driving sequence opened with.

"In today's mid-luxury segment, every car company is talking about safety, quality, design and performance, " said Dan Chasins, Saab Cars USA president and chief operating officer. "Saabs offer the very best of these attributes and more, but what surprises virtually all first-time buyers is the sheer exhilaration they feel when they drive our cars." Raising consumer awareness about this critical product differentiator is the backbone of Saab's marketing focus, says Chasins.

Real Life Test Drives Spell Sales for Saab

In addition to the new television and print campaign, Saab is expanding its successful Real Life Road Test program to over 25 cities during 2002. The program, which gives prospective buyers the chance to drive the latest model Saabs and talk to product experts on corporate campuses and other community locations, is an important tactical component of the new campaign, according to Hans Krondahl, Saab Cars USA's vice president of marketing.

"We already know that Saab sales closing rates skyrocket when first-time buyers test drive our cars," says Krondahl. According to Allison-Fisher research data, nearly 70% of prospects who test drove a Saab purchased the car. "While our new brand campaign paves the road for understanding how much fun our cars are to drive, the Real Life Road Tests prove it."

Dealers confirm the success of the program. "I think it is a great event," said Kurt Schirm, dealer principal at International Motors in Falls Church, Virginia. "The Real Life Road Test puts Saab products in front of the right demographic, and hits people who perhaps otherwise would not have considered a Saab."

Saab Cars USA, Inc. is the importer and distributor of Saab 9-5 and 9-3 automobiles for Sweden-based Saab Automobile AB and is headquartered in Norcross, Georgia, near Atlanta.


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