Saab (unofficial) ad competition – the winners!!

The poll for the Saab (unofficial) ad competition has now closed and we have our three winners. They’ll be the recipients of a mix of cash and gift vouchers from both Saabs United and the following generous sponsors: New Salem Saab, International Saab, ATS, transport services, SoonSaab, State of Nine, Maptun, Elkparts, Saab USA Parts, The Fudge A’fare and a couple of generous private donors.

Click here to view the finalists.

Click here to view nearly 500 entries received for this competition!


On to the winners, then……

In third place with 142 votes is Regular 9-5 getting you down? You need ours., which was sent in by Talladegan.

This ad seemed to speak to a lot of people, tapping in to the shared theme of needing to escape the regular 9 to 5 routine and the Saab 9-5 being the perfect alternative choice for doing so.

In second place with a very decent 254 votes is People who test drive a Saab usually by one, which was one of a very strong range of ads submitted by Jorrit.

It’s a sentiment that many Saab fans will resonate with, particularly if they’re currently driving something that isn’t a Saab. I imagine they’d see the 900 in that ad and think about the old days, right before calling their local dealer to see what’s in stock.

This is arguably the most ‘print-ready’ of the ads, gelling seamlessly with Saab’s brand language straight out of the box. For the record, my personal vote went to Jorrit’s other finalist entry, Great Scandinavian design….


And your winner, with a 25% slice of the pie and 344 public votes (and the leader right from the beginning, to be honest) is Four seasons, Four wheels, Four elements, Four letters, which was submitted by ViktorH.

And the text….

Saab ad competition

It’s a little controversial, isn’t it. A car ad without a car in it.

And yet I knew this ad could do well from the first moment I saw it because it draws you in to look at the symbols and perform just the right amount of mental gymnastics in order to get the massage.

It’s an impressive result for an impressive ad. Congratulations, ViktorH.



We had one particular entrant in the competition who was tenacious in terms of both the regularity of his submissions and the manner in which he applied himself to listening to people’s thoughts and improving his ads accordingly.

Saab ad competition

Jake is just 13 years old yet he managed to submit an impressive quantity of work. Several of his ads received votes from the judges but unfortunately for Jake, none received the required second vote needed to get into the finals.

This isn’t a sympathy award. We had other 13 year old entrants, too. This is a reward for a month’s hard work for a young man with the will to work and the maturity to improve his work as things progressed. I admired his dedication to the task. At an age where other kids are busy texting their friends about texting their friends, Jake wanted to improve his work and earn himself some cash.

I can’t do much about the cash, but I’ll be sending Jake my last remaining sealed copy of the Saab Sonett #4 book, which I believe is now quite unavailable given that it was a limited edition released around 5 years ago. It’s a fantastic read about an element of Saab’s heritage that we’d all love to see return.

45 thoughts on “Saab (unofficial) ad competition – the winners!!”

  1. Congratulations to the 3 (4) winners! They’re definitely worth it! 500 entries, that’s also worth an article in the NYTimes 🙂 !

  2. Congratulations to the winners and everyone who submitted the ads.
    Just like the Rescue SAAB initiative, it was great to be a part of this.

  3. My warmest-hearted congratulations to the winners first and foremost, all the entrants and to Swade and other persons involved for recording a great success in the amount of sincere interest and engagement the contest has received!

    Viktor won absolutely deservedly. While most of us (I entered with a small thingy as well) took much effort to fit into Saab’s current corporate/graphic identity, Viktor was perhaps the only person who ventured beyond it – and succeeded! I am just as hopeful as I am fearful of the effect the recent (re)design cooperation agreement, but I do believe it is only sensible and appropriate for the design insititution and/or Saab marketing to contact Viktor and get him involved in the cooperation!

    For the record – while I am a huge fan of Viktor’s ad, I do believe there were more fitting, poignant and praiseworthy copies, so while nobody came close to Viktor’s breakthrough in graphic designs, there are many skilled copywriters among the community!

    And it’s only appropriate for Saab Communications both in Europe, North America and beyond to make a HUGE media fuss about it. A bit too late since it’s Christmas (down)time in the automotive and general media, but perhaps a filler for the still week between Christmas and New Year would be a good idea! Wouldn’t you agree, Eric and Michelle?

    PS. And hey, I didn’t come last. Yay!

  4. Congratulations to all the winners, all the participants, Mr. & Mrs. Wade, Saab.. and heck.. everybody voting. Amazing to see contest from start to finish. I agree with BFGMI that there were many well made entries for the competition. And when I look at historical sales in Sweden and the US.. “normally” December has shown an increase in Saab sales compared to November.. 😉

  5. I have loved every bit of this competition… It shows that greatness inspires greatness. As for Jake, if I were him I’d keep this work as a portfolio and this blog as proof of the authenticity of his work, there will be jobs in advertising companies waiting for him as soon as het gets out of school… (or before). Congrats to all…

  6. First of all congratulations to ViktorH on making a fantastic and very original Saab advertisement! This surely shows that being different appeals to many Saab enthousiasts. Congrats to you on winning the first prize. Of course congratulations to Talladegan as well; it’s well deserved after the hard work!

    During the voting period I visited SaabsUnited even more times a day than I usually do. It was great to see that so many people were involved in this and that a lot of them choose one of my 2 ads. I feel privileged to have two ads in the last voting round, seeing there were so many great ads submitted. Also, thanks for the nice and useful comments which gave me the chance to improve some of my ads.

    Thanks to Swade, all people who took time to make their vote, all the sponsors and everyone else for making this possible. This competition was another sign of the real Saab spirit!

    Greetings from a snowy Holland

  7. Just wanted to thank everyone who voted for my ad and got me thrid place…I am really pleased to have made ti into the final few and then to have actually won something!

    I also wanted to say how amazing this whole competition has been. Almost 500 entries? Wow! That’s really something from a virtual community, the majority of which don’t even know each other but who are pulled together by their love of a certain bradn and product.

    I am humbled and proud to be part of it! Thanks Swade for all you do. Congratulations to everyone who entered and particularly to Jorrit, ViktorH and of course Jake.

    Go Saab!

  8. Congrats to all participants and especially to aforementioned. I voted for ViktorH´s ad (thus feeling a bit victorious myself) 🙂 and was very pleased with the creative touch he found around the theme of four.

    Jake seems to be a young man whose doings should be allowed to blossom – could SU possibly allow him to showcase his talents somehow?

  9. I’m not surprised ViktorH’s entry won, though it was my second choice. It caught my eye even before it was singled out as a finalist. It seemed the most original, colorful and interesting. I voted for one that had a Saab pictured, haha 😉

    Congrats to the winners and participants! The majority of the submitted ads looked right out of a magazine–I’m very impressed!

    • I saw that. I didn’t know why SAAB wasn’t on the list. It’s not interesting that they haven’t been tested since 2004, in infuriating.

  10. What a fun and creative ad campaign to follow. Kudos to Swade for using the web site
    medium to let us all participate and follow the whole thing. I think even if the prizes were a
    candy bar we would have gotten some creative and thoughtful entries.

  11. Congratulations to the winners! Great job everyone.

    We found it really neat to see all of the ads submitted and such great support for Saab… and fun!

    I know that Saab is a big company with their own advertising people and companies working with them, but do hope that these SU ads are noticed and if not used by Saab, at least provide inspiration for the folks getting paid to create Saab ads.

    Great job again everyone and thank you for sharing your talents with we readers of Saabs United.

  12. 500 high quality entries, I wasn’t even able to give each one the attention it deserved.
    The Saab community is alive and kicking!
    Congratulations to the 4 winners, I dearly hope this gets picked up by the Saab PR machine somehow.

  13. Congratulations to the SU ad competition Winners. As far as I was concerned everyone who entered is a winner. We appreciate your dedication, passion and support for this brand. SW, thank you for creating such a great venue for expression.

    Everyone have a Safe New Year and a Merry Christmas from New Salem Saab – 2017 Central Ave, Albany, NY 12205 518-862-2795

  14. Massage, LOL!

    Well done all those that showed SAAB how it could be done.

    Look at your ad now look at me… I’m the ad your ad could look like

    Well deserved Viktor, a fantastic and fresh piece of work. I didn’t even bother entering this one, the caliber of work right off the bat was too high for me.

  15. As I have said before, this competition was an inspiration. You could not imagine it relating to any other car marque. I enjoyed submitting my entries, although they were really just for fun – not of the standard of these finalists.
    Well done to all the finalists, and the winners. Also, many thanks to SW for thinking of it – really great fun.
    Merry Christmas to all from a sub-zero, snowy Prestwick (Scotland).

  16. Congratulations to the winners but it seems that Saab is the real winner here. Any more passion around here and the place would resemble a “love in”.

    All the very best to everyone here at SU and especially to Swade for making my internet experience that much more enjoyable in 2010. A special mention goes to Swade’s wife who must be sick of hearing about Saab this and Saab that. Thanks for allowing Swade to “play with his online mates”, ‘Mrs Swade’.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all 🙂

    • A nice positive review of the new 9-5. I love this quote

      Though $52,000 may seem pricey, it’s a relative bargain compared with all-wheel-drive A6s, 5-series cars and Mercedes-Benz E-class 4Matics. And Saab’s unique new position in the marketplace might give it just the special niche that those marques previously enjoyed and exploited to their current success.

  17. Wow.

    This is truly overwhelming, I couldn’t be happier at the moment! Thanks to everyone who voted for me, and of course, to Swade for hosting the contest! ☺

    I have been watching this blog several times a day, since I first posted my ad, and it’s been a great experience and a great opportunity to hear people’s opinions and comments about both mine and others entries.

    The discussion has been highly interesting, regarding the different views on commercial work and car ads, for example whether it should contain pictures of cars or not, for it to work. I can agree that my advertisement might not be the most selling and business-minded example, in real life. But my ambition or idea was never to think about such things, I just played with images, symbols, the SAAB logo, letters, and finally started to form the one I sent in. I never really thought of including an actual car in it, perhaps because I wasn’t really aware of all the stock photos you could choose from, but mostly just because I wanted to make something from scratch and display a different angle and a personal approach. I guess I just wanted to make something that was different from all the car ads I’ve seen in my life, and, as Swade quoted, “a little controversial”.

    I am so happy to hear that people like it, and even voted for it to win! This is such a great reward and is truly inspiring, really makes me more confident about my work. It is also proof of that you can stick with a personal idea and go for it, without regarding previous work in the same area. I do hope people voted for it because they liked the idea and the simple graphic approach, not just because it was totally different from all the others. ☺

    This award had me smile all day at my daytime job, still smiling! Also still a bit overwhelmed that I actually won, among all these great entries and talent!

    Again, huge thanks to Swade, to all those who voted for me, and to everyone who gave me such nice comments and feedback! Thank you so much! 😀

    Now, here’s a little shameless self-promoting, if anyone wants to see my other work or wants to make contact:

    All the best,
    Viktor Hertz

  18. Congratulations Victor, a truly eye-catching and memorable ad. Somehow modern and timeless simultaneously. Brilliant.

    I must add my appreciation to all the other entrants, there were some great, great insights into how to position and sell SAAB.

    Behind all this – the mysterious genius of Swade who orchestrated and delivered this fascinating and enlightening exercise for us all. Up there with the convoys as an SU hosted Saab-tragic highlight of the year.

    Best wishes for a happy & safe Christmas everyone. Please don’t spend the holiday season testing out your stability control or airbags.


  19. Congratulations again to the winners.

    However, the 1st prize ad simply does not make much sense in Europe where SEAT and FIAT are very very popular and also 4-letter words.

    I dare to assume that most of the votes for this ad came from the US.
    Is that right, Swade?

    PS: The 2nd-prize ad is a really bright and intelligent one and gets the message across!

    • Just to add that the 1st prize ad simply does not discriminate Saab against some other more popular 4-letter word companies. Few days ago a thread was running here in SaabsUnited about marketing and brands. And Swade has asked us to post what is the unique characteristic of a Saab. The 1st prize ad simply DOES NOT convey any such unique characteristic, whereas the 2st prize ad really does!
      Just my 2 cents (in euros or in dollars)!!

      • Chris, I am not necessarily disagreeing with you (I’d have to make up my own mind first), but some minor nitpicks if I may:

        The ad mentions “four seasons”. Driving a Seat or Fiat in the winter demonstrates suicidal tendancies IMO. And I would not want to get any of them anywhere near any road sections with big pools of water separating cars from the road (i.e. at least one element that will cause problems for the average Fiat).

        Audi OTOH comes close, at least when their throttle pedals don’t break off in the cold weather we’re having.

        • AUDI is another VERY-VERY-VERY popular 4-letter word car company in Europe.
          That makes it even worse for the 4-letter word SAAB.
          So, the 1st prize ad is probably most suitable to the US only and not in Europe.

  20. Well, I do live in Europe and I did vote for the ad in question. Thing is, while ALL of them are truly great (I’d take any of them over a VW ad, for example), it was almost impossible for me to choose between them. I loved them all, in equal measure. The four letter one though, it is different, it stands out. It’s daring (a car ad that doesn’t have a car), and it makes me want to learn more about the car. And somehow, it gives me the impression of environmental friendly…

    Given that we all want Saab to be different, to stand out from the crowd, it’s not really a surprise this ad won the competition, is it?

    Congratulations to all entrants! Nice work.

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