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SaabUSA Launches New Ad Campaign


New campaign intended to help Saab continue its momentum and spur growth in the U.S. market

Norcross, GA - Saab Cars USA, Inc. announces the launch of a new advertising campaign from agency of record, LOWE. The campaign is entitled 'Welcome to the state of independence' and includes five new television spots directed by Tony Kaye, as well as national magazine, newspaper and radio advertising. The television spots begin airing nationally on May 5, 2003. The new advertising coincides with the launch of Saab's uplevel, 210-horsepower 9-3 Sport Sedans.

The launch of the new advertising campaign represents the latest step in the reinvigoration of Saab. The company is coming off of its best first quarter sales results in its 47-year history, and just had its best-ever sales month in the U.S. in April. With April YTD sales of 15,852 units, Saab Cars USA sales are up 26% compared with a year ago. Saab plans to continue the momentum with the introduction of the new 2004 Saab 9-3 Convertible this fall, and the new Saab 9-2 - a small, all-wheel drive, premium car targeting younger, active consumers in early 2004.

"We are encouraged by our record-breaking first quarter and best-ever month in April," said Hans Krondahl, vice president of marketing for Saab Cars USA. "This is the right time to get aggressive with our advertising, and continue what has begun as a great year for Saab."

Extensive consumer research was conducted over the past year, in the development of the new advertising campaign. The results showed that while Saab drivers seek acknowledgement of their success in life, they reject materialistic and common status symbols. Instead, they look for unique and innovative brands that express their independent spirit.

Saab cars are created for the independently minded. The turbocharged four-cylinder engines that offer excellent real-world response and class-leading fuel economy, and the sleek Scandinavian design make Saab cars stand out from the herd of import cars.

In the new campaign, consumers get a glimpse at how Saab cars are created. The ads depict not just a physical place, but a way of thinking and living in a state of freedom and creativity. It's a place where new ideas for Saab cars are born - where expression comes through sculpted sheet metal, turbocharged aluminum engines, and unique automotive technology - all to create 'a direct link between the right foot and a smile.' This state-of-mind is called 'The state of independence.'

The first television spot introduces the full line of Saab cars, and describes its creative engineering in a state 'where the national sport is the game of "What If."' Visuals of the new Saab cars negotiating curves are imposed on a waving flag, with a projector movie feel. The copy continues, "What if all cars were turbocharged?" "What if innovation were the official currency?" The spot ends with a flag containing the tagline, "Welcome to the state of independence," followed by the Saab logo.

"The idea of 'independence' is an important thing to people who drive Saab cars," said Gary Goldsmith, chairman and chief creative cfficer of Lowe New York, "and independent thinking has always been at the core of Saab car design and technological development."

Other television commercials in the campaign introduce the new Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan, the precision driving instruction offered by the Saab Aero Academy, and the new Saab 9-3 Convertible.

The first television spot will air Monday, May 5 on National Cable programming, including ESPN, A&E, Bravo, MSNBC, CNN, and FOX News Network. Also included in the television buy is Spot TV in primetime, early morning, evening news and late night. Print advertising will run in magazines including Outside, Runner's World, In-Style, GQ, Gourmet, Architectural Digest, Conde Nast Traveler, and Car & Driver. Newspaper advertising will appear in The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, as well as local papers around the U.S. The radio component of the campaign includes local station buys as well as a sponsorship of National Public Radio.

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