Dying Saturn Campaign: "We're Still Here"

Although GM is currently struggling to survive, Saturn, a Detroit-based automaker's division felt the need to reassure customers that they are not dead yet through an advertising campaign  scheduled to run through early May.

According to New York Times, the advertising campaign features dealers speaking frankly to consumers. In the ads, they try to convince consumers not to ignore Saturn in spite of the problems that GM is facing these days.

“We know what’s going on in the market,” said Kim McGill, director for advertising and promotions at Saturn in Detroit. “We’re not hiding behind it. Regardless of what has happened with the industry, with General Motors,” she added, “we still need to communicate” that Saturn continues to sell a “full portfolio of products.”

The campaign's aim is to strengthen consumers' trust in the Saturn brand through TV, radio, newspaper and online ads.

One television commercial is called "We're still here",aiming to establish a frank conversation between dealers and consumers.

“Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t ask me, ‘What’s going on with Saturn?’ ” Todd Ingersoll, who owns two dealerships in Connecticut, in Danbury and Watertown, says in a television commercial. “Let me tell you what’s going on with Saturn,” Mr. Ingersoll goes on. “We’re still here.”

The idea of using dealers in the ads is not new for Saturn. In fact, the car maker has used the same idea when GM introduced the Saturn brand in 1990. The local Saturn dealers also played a major role in those early ads.

"It is no accident that the new campaign offers echoes of the introductory campaign by “putting the dealers front and center,” said Eric Hirshberg, co-president and chief creative officer at Deutsch L.A., the creative agency for Saturn.

Needless to say, the main problem with such a campaign is represented by costs. As you already know, GM was forced to reduce marketing and advertising budget due to the financial problems it now faces.

Another problem is that such a campaign is risky. On the one hand, it might alarm car shoppers who were not aware of Saturn's problems. On the other hand, consumers might be alarmed by such a frank campaign as they are used to be shown that automotive industry is all roses.

Whether Saturn's campaign will be successful or not, only future can tell. Until then, we are still waiting to see what will happen to GM these days.
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