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"That's Not a Buick" Ad Campaign a Success?

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I was just reading a review of the refreshed Lacrosse, and the author made a surprising point that I hadn't considered. Personally, I disliked the Buick commercials with their dorky music and over-sold punchline: "That's too nice and stylish, it can't be a Buick." But I'm an enthusiast, I already know about cars, I'm not the audience they want.

 

What if that message rang loud and clear with their target demo? What if people--who didn't know Buick still existed--suddenly realized the brand had evolved back into slick luxury cars, cars worth cross shopping? Maybe it's such a simple concept that it's genius.

 

Here's an excerpt from the link:

 

"Everywhere I went in the 2015 LaCrosse, there was somebody referencing the ad campaign. “That’s not a Buick!” Immediately, and seemingly the only proper response, I would shout back, “That’s what I told them!”

 

On paper, this seems meaningless. But think about it: there are some brands that would kill for that kind of brand recognition. And with an industry as large as the automotive world, it’s good to stand out. Marketing and advertising is an effort to create awareness for a product, and what better measure of success than real-life reactions?

 

Immediately after that brief exchange of mimicking the same ads many poke fun at, whoever I happened to be with wanted a look at the 2015 LaCrosse. Mind you, some of these people weren’t auto enthusiasts like you and I, so they enthused over the “sharp” exterior styling, the “eerily” quiet cabin and the “awesome” infotainment system. I felt as if the cameras should have been rolling on me.

 

Those silly ads evoked a whole new set of eyes to view Buick in, and it ranged from younger, to middle-aged adults."

 

http://gmauthority.com/blog/2015/07/buicks-marketing-message-prevailed-while-i-drove-a-2015-lacrosse/

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Very cool glad it is taking hold and doing what most of us auto enthusiasts already knew. :) Buick Rocks!!! :metal:

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Not a fan of those ads.  Sort of like the "this is not your father's Oldsmobile" ads.   I don't like poking fun of the brand in your own ads, or stirring up memories of decades of mush box cars that they made.  They should form an identity and advertise the brand image and product attributes.

 

Another thing I hate on car ads is mentioning your competitors and "real people, not actors."  Why mention the competition, you don't see Coca-Cola talking about Pepsi in their ads.  Apple doesn't talk about Samsung (although Samsung compares to Apple because they are chasing, not leading).  I think you look weak when you talk about a competitor, promote yourself and don't worry about them.

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As a Buick driver of the least "traditional" of all the Buicks currently offered, I do actually like the ads. 

 

Last December at one family holiday gathering, my partner and I were talking with his cousin.  She knows that I regularly get cars in from the manufacturers to drive and review. She had pulled in and parked right behind us at the same time we arrived.

 

Later that evening she asked me which car I had this week.  I said, "Oh, that's not a test car.  That's our car." She replied "Oh okay, well what is it?".  I said "It's a Buick Encore".

 

She quickly said "That's not a Buick!..... oh wait... I just did the commercial"

 

She drives an older Volvo XC90 and usually doesn't care about cars. So yeah, I'd say the Buick commercials had an impact.

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I have more and more coworkers who have changed from Asian name plates to Buick's due to the looks and life style available auto's. More and More are liking what Buick is doing and yes I hear that commercial all the time when people do the same thing of that is not a Buick. So far 5 Encores in my department and one Regal GS.

 

I have to say this ad does work and works well.

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Many people give Oldsmobile's "This is aint your father's Oldsmobile"  tag line plenty of grief. I included.

But, last week, I heard this tag line for a movie

 

"Not your mother's romantic comedy"

https://youtu.be/pos0eJiMxo0?t=20s

 

Click on the link to actually see it written in the trailer of the movie Trainwreck. I cant find the audio version of that trailer where the narrator actually says it...but at least in this trailer, its written...

 

And it aint the first time I see this type of tag line where marketing geniuses copied the original Oldsmobile slogan.

Therefore....I have come to the conclusion that that marketing compaign was actually a successful one...not for Oldsmobile...but for everybody else.

 

And yes...I am not very fond of Buick's version either, but as I have showed with Trainwreck...there might be some merit to Buick's version after all.

Edited by oldshurst442

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So Buick is the brand people don't recognize?  Probably not best for business.

 

Buick is the brand that is surprising people. 

 

Not surprising me.

 

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So Buick is the brand people don't recognize?  Probably not best for business.

 

Buick is the brand that is surprising people.

 

Not surprising me.

 

Really? It doesn't suprise you that they are "Not your father's Buick" anymore?

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Wasn't the Malibu "the car you can't ignore?"  And that was forgettable and people ignored it.  I just prefer ads that are brand image focused or product attribute focused.  Lexus back in the 90s had the ad with the wine glasses stacked on the LS400 and that nailed both how smooth the car was, and how Lexus brand was about precision engineering.  I think Dodge does a pretty good job now trying to craft out a brand image of classic American, and performance.

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So Buick is the brand people don't recognize?  Probably not best for business.

 

Buick is the brand that is surprising people.

 

Not surprising me.

 

Really? It doesn't suprise you that they are "Not your father's Buick" anymore?

 

My father never bought a Buick... and never would have bought a modern one.  Dad liked RWD and would have had about the same problems getting into and driving a modern Buick as I do.

It doesn't surprise me that they are still the "Anonymous Brand Chasing Lexus". 

As far as the tagline "Not your father's Oldsmobile" goes... that was certainly and unfortunately true 15 years ago since my father installed the engine in the family Cutlass Supreme... and it left stripes on the pavement when you hit the faster pedal. 

 

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Guest scottzilla

Very cool glad it is taking hold and doing what most of us auto enthusiasts already knew. :) Buick Rocks!!! :metal:

The brilliance of the ads, if you hadn't noticed is its always old people saying "that's not a Buick" and young hip people who own/drive the cars.

The message is, your grandma, who drives a Camry, thinks Buicks are not cool.

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Very cool glad it is taking hold and doing what most of us auto enthusiasts already knew. :) Buick Rocks!!! :metal:

The brilliance of the ads, if you hadn't noticed is its always old people saying "that's not a Buick" and young hip people who own/drive the cars.

The message is, your grandma, who drives a Camry, thinks Buicks are not cool.

 

 

What about the young valet that can't find the Buick because he's looking for a dowdy old person car? Or the young lady who can't see her friend's Encore for the same reason? The message is nobody knows about Buick right now, not strictly old people. Though most of the owners in the commercial are in the 25-40 age range like you mentioned.

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So Buick is the brand people don't recognize?  Probably not best for business.

 

Buick is the brand that is surprising people.

The ad campaign is a success if your brand doesn't die. Oldsmobile died. Buick won't, if for no other reason than China.

Beyond that, I see the logic behind the ads but I won't lie about being leery about the self-depreciation behind them.

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So Buick is the brand people don't recognize?  Probably not best for business.

 

Buick is the brand that is surprising people.

The ad campaign is a success if your brand doesn't die. Oldsmobile died. Buick won't, if for no other reason than China.

Beyond that, I see the logic behind the ads but I won't lie about being leery about the self-depreciation behind them.

 

 

Buick's sales have been on a strong upswing for the past few years with strong conquest sales. It's leveled off this year as most of their models are starting to get old.   But they have a new Verano, Lacrosse, Cascada, Envision coming in the next 12 months, a refreshed Enclave and Encore in the next 18 months, and at least one possibly two cars for the top end of the line-up. 

 

I think Buick is in a very safe spot. 

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Agree with Drew, Buick is in a solid safe spot.

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Buick needs a Riviera, the brand is boring.  A 2-door a bit bigger than Camaro, turbo 4 and V6 engines, maybe like $35-45k price range, that could be a nice personal luxury coupe, problem is the pricing is pretty close to ATS coupe, but if you keep the focus on luxury, and not performance, you can differentiate and keep the price down.

 

I also think the XTS should die, and become a Park Avenue, at a $40,000 price point (only $5,000 less than XTS, decontent it a bit).  Make the next Verano (which I assume will grow in size as all cars do) $25,000 base, and then you merge Regal and LaCrosse into one car ( I don't care what name they use) at like 193 inches long, $32,000 base.  Then you have a 3 sedan lineup that is about $8,000 more than the Chevy counterparts.  You get the XTS out of Cadillac so they can be upscalde Cadillac, not "traditional" Cadillac.  And you keep Buick's focus on quite luxury, 200-300 hp engines, you aren't building a sports car, you are going after people that bought CamCords, Rav4s and CR-V's in the past that are happy with mediocre performance but want a smooth ride and luxury and some technology that is better than what a Chevy/Ford would have.

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On second thought, I would rename the Verano to Regal, and keep the LaCrosse name for the 193 inch long car.  The Regal name has heritage, and dopes will think they are getting what used to be a $30k Regal for just $25k and will think it is great value.  But in reality, the Regal will just be a fancy Cruze.

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I still think the full size Buick (ie the Buick Impala) should be a Park Avenue, not a LaCrosse.  I think you would have an easier time with a $38k base price on a Park Avenue, rather than a LaCrosse, because the LaCrosse is like $31k now, they have to get it farther away from the Impala, and when the XTS dies, Buick can sort of fill the void.

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Easier to make the Buick Malibu the new LaCrosse at $32k, and a Park Avenue at $39k, than to push the LaCrosse up there.  CTS didn't do so great going from 3-series price to 5-series price.  The current Regal/Insignia is probably short lived, I imagine Buick is going to go to a 3 car line up based off Cruze, Malibu, Impala, and a 3 CUV lineup based on Trax, Equinox and Traverse as these platforms all get streamlined.

 

Unless the Buick Malibu is going to be $27k and the Buick Impala $31k again, to keep the Buick price premium over a Chevy at $4,000.  I see larger sedans as a dying breed though, a $33k mid-size (193 inch long) sedan would match up really well against Cadenza, Avalon, MKZ, and ES350.

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