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Saab's "Born from Jets" Spotlight Turns to Flagship 9-5


ATLANTA - Saab Automobile USA continues its successful "Born From Jets" campaign with new advertising that features its redesigned flagship, the 2006 Saab 9-5 Sedan. The new ads represent the reaffirmation and continuation of Saab's aircraft-inspired marketing strategy.

Saab's latest television commercial, called 'Head-to-Head,' shows a face-off between the 9-5 and a Saab Gripen jet fighter aircraft. The spot opens on the Gripen as it begins to roll down a runway. Cut to the 9-5 as it accelerates toward the jet from the opposite direction. A voiceover reads, "The aerodynamic principles that keep a Saab jet in the air help the Saab 9-5 remain firmly on the ground." Just as the jet is about to meet the car, it lifts off the runway and the 9-5 speeds under the aircraft. The ad concludes with the voiceover, "When you used to build jets, you don't just build another car."

For 2006, the 9-5 undergoes a thorough refresh that includes bolder exterior design, updated interior materials, horsepower increased to 260 hp, chassis enhancements and new instrumentation and 'infotainment' systems. The Linear, Arc and Aero models have been merged into a single model - the 2.3T - in 4-door Sedan and 5-door SportCombi body styles.

The "Born from Jets" campaign, which was created by Lowe New York, kicked off in fall 2005. Featuring the 9-7X, Saab's first-ever SUV, the new 9-3 SportCombi five-door and a new 250-hp turbo V-6 engine in all 9-3 Aero models, it supports the most aggressive product expansion in Saab's nearly 60-year history as an automaker. "Born from Jets" was called "one of automotive history's greatest marketing taglines" by Advertising Age magazine.

Saab Automobile USA General Manager Jay Spenchian said Saab has genuine performance credentials, but that not enough people are aware of this premium European brand. On top of that, Saab must set itself apart from other car makers that claim 'performance' as their brand promise. Spenchian said by reaching into Saab's history, his team arrived at a solution that addresses both issues.

"Jets are inherently cool - they represent speed, control, safety, quality and reliability. Saab is the only car company that can claim such a heritage. Nobody else can say 'what our founding engineers knew about thrust and power inspired us to build a more exciting vehicle' or 'what they knew about keeping pilots alive inspired us to build a safer vehicle.' This is unique to Saab and it really resonates with potential customers."

Indeed, according to Saab research:

"Head-to-Head" will air during the Olympics on NBC, MSNBC and USA. The campaign also includes print, online components and direct mail for the 9-5. Print advertising will run in upscale publications including Esquire, Vogue, Details, Car&Driver, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. The online components include internet banners and website updates.

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