New Saab advertising – started in WSJ today

I talked about Saab’s US advertising blitz a few days ago and today, it’s begun. It’s understood that they’ll have four days of significant advertising in the Wall Street Journal, for starters.

Thanks to Steve for this snapshot from today’s WSJ (pages A10 and A11)….

I know it’s unclear, but Saab have posted some clear versions of the new ads on Facebook so we can all see where they’re going.

The first ad (which you can see in the WSJ, above) is made up of the following two parts. Click to enlarge.


The second ad is made up of the following two parts:


We’ve had a lot of conversations about advertising here on Saabs United. I imagine people should be well pleased seeing Saab tell the story of the support Saab received.

Personally, I think it’s a very human story and it’s well worth the telling. The photo of that young lady in the first ad is directly from the St Petersburg Saab Support Convoy (though the sign she’s holding has been photoshopped, understandably).

I don’t know who’s composed the ads and I don’t know how much the public conversation about advertising has influenced the content, but I think the conversation has definitely been effective and for that reason, my thanks go to everyone who took part in it.

110 thoughts on “New Saab advertising – started in WSJ today”

  1. While I don’t really think much of Saab’s target audience reads the WSJ every day (more likely New York Times or LA Times), it is either the most or second-most read newspaper in the country (it and USA Today often vie for top honors). That means around 1 million people saw this two-page spread, which is massive.

    I wish I had time to watch TV so I could look out for those ads!

    • Additionally, the audience of WSJ has the highest income by far compared to any other publication in the US. So the number of impressions that they made were reaching people that can easily afford a SAAB. I love that they are finally telling their story, its a compelling campaign.

    • The Wall Street Journal is, as far as I know, a printed and/or online newspaper. Those have a readership, not an audience, I believe. Anyway, however we call them, there is a lot of them. If 5%…


    • I may be an atypical SAAB fan, but I read the WSJ frequently. For many people in the United States who are of a more conservative bent, the WSJ serves as an alternative national newspaper of record. Many offices have the WSJ delivered daily and will no doubt get a wide read among the workers. I know our copies tend to migrate to the break rooms and are read by a number of people. I’m not trying to start any sort of political argument or compare the virtues or failings of any newspaper. I’m merely stating what is true for me and a number of my friends and colleagues. The WSJ certainly is not a wrong place to begin an ad campaign – I recognize that there are no doubt arguments for other venues. Still, picking the WSJ is a good choice among several possible alternatives and shouldn’t be extensively second-guessed.

  2. I love these: this is the kind of message I was desperately waiting for Saab to share!
    Cheers to those ads!!

  3. Great to see this happening. I hope as the story continues these ads will be able to point to our successes and future plans to help build consumer confidence and pique people’s interest even more. Keep ’em coming!

  4. I like the nicht german ad, its time to compete trough adverts but with humour that is what i like:)

    Good work Saab:)

  5. The picture of “Nicht German” is a little blurry… does it end with ” This is a proud, intelligent beautiful …. errr SWADE?

  6. I like the ads! I don’t want to seem nit-picky here, but in the Nicht German ad, they show the steering wheel from the 9-5. The same steering wheel which is almost identical to the ones found in the Opel Insignia, and Buick LaCrosse. I might be wrong(!), but I have a feeling that the wheel was originally designed in Germany for a German car.. Just a small detail anyways…

    I hope this will help bring more interest to the dealerships! If you just can get them into a Saab, they will probably buy one πŸ˜‰

    • I had that thought, too. Might want to highlight something unique… don’t want Buick owners to go, “Hey! That’s the same steering wheel I have!”

    • According to a Saab-employee who commented at a couple of days ago the steering-wheel is designed by Saab.

      • Is it true, but how the hell should we convince automotive journalists around the world that that is the truth! Everything thatΒ΄s looking like GM they think is designed by them?

        I would probably choose another picture just to avoid the dilemma.

        Go Saab!

  7. I read the WSJ everyday and I own a 2011 9-5.

    The Journal is a must read…and the ad is in a great position in the paper – you can not miss it.

    Great job Saab – it’s about time you fought back.

    Among the numerous people who have given me compliments about my new car were two that followed up with “I thought Saab was out of business…”.

    Let’s hope these ads will educate the general population.

    • My wife, who drives our new 9-5 we bought three weeks ago every day, has gotten twice “Is that the new Saab?”

      That seemed like a good sign to me.

      • Regular subscriber for 30 years and I drive a 2010 9-5 Aero, my fifth Saab.
        Nice start something to build on.


      • Definitely no need to reference each German competitor individually, it’s just peculiar they chose to use the word “Bavarian” when the copy seems to be talking about the Germans in general. Ah, who cares (?) … it’s just great to see some ads!

        • I think that we are all “nicht” picking. beautiful adds. Bavarian, smarian ….. this is advertising. They get the point across.

        • They’re also excluding Opel when they say ‘Bavarian’.

          And that feels like it has been done on purpose! πŸ˜€

      • Either that or we dont want Saab’s compared to taxis! If you have ever been to Germany you will know what I mean, Swade. πŸ˜‰

        I think these ads are great. No nonsense advertising that US readers understand. Keep the subliminal messages for Europeans who seem better able to ‘get’ such ads.

        Griffin Up!! πŸ™‚

  8. It’s great to see SAAB acting so swiftly. I can certainly feel the direct influence of a certain popular blog featuring heated discussions and enthusiast contests πŸ˜‰

    Having said which, count me in among the “never satisfied” crowd. While I appreciate the need to educate the general population that Saab has not gone out of business, it’s 12 months too late for telling the rebirth story. The sole fact that there IS a Saab ad proves that Saab is in business.

    What Saab needs to say is that they have GREAT cars to sell. That they still provide the obvious option to those who want to find their own road and move their minds to the state of independence. That the 9-3 is an obvious choice not because it’s newer, faster or fitted with more electronics, but because it’s built around inimitable principles and with attention to the actually important detail (such as ueber-ergonomic controls layout and design) that you just can’t find in other cars.

    With regard to that, the second ad is a very on-point effort, but I agree the arguments used are only conditionally relevant. Moreover, it focuses on the competition and what Saab is not. I believe Saab has a lot more to offer than just not being German.

    Oh, and I can’t help to nitpick on the graphics – not only is the angle of the 9-5 in the second photo one that does not do the car much favour, but also the cars in the “family photo” in the first ad are going totally against each other in terms of perspective. I know Saab uses this combo online, but looks terrible in print.

    • I agree the Saab survived ad is late, but as Saab said on their Facebook page, these two ads are the beginning of the ad blitz we have heard about. I am sure the other ones to follow will focus on the great cars they have to sell and the characteristics that make them unique and Saab-ish. While the first one is late….better late than never.

    • Well said! I’ve got very mixed feelings about this…

      The first ad:

      NO!!! Please let that be a one-off in WSJ only. Don’t perpetuate the “brand in crisis” message. Sure, it’s nice that the community gets recognition, but not at the expense of making the brand seem in need of special support. And mentioning a single “businessman” as the foundation behind it all doesn’t really strengthen the brand, no matter how true or well deserved it is. I think this is really damaging stuff, and I say that because I care, not because I want to shout about stuff.

      The second ad:

      YES!!! The German brands have become so popular that (at least in Sweden) they have started to feel a bit mainstream, “me too” and boring. “Nicht German” can be “Think Different”, but with a sense of humor. I’m not saying that they should reuse that particular phrase, but the “not me too (because I’ve seen the light)” message is powerful and can be used creatively in many ways.

      • To discuss your comment about the first ad and I do so in a friendly manner so please, no disrespect intended.

        You might want to consider looking at it… well, a little different. Mentioning VM and all the grass root support might just reach out to those who tire over the big corporate machines. This, IMHO, gives Saab a personal identity not unlike our reasons for having bought Saab. Instead of a boardroom full of unknown names and faces, we see JaJ, VM and countless other faces behind Saab.

        That my friend reaches out to those who refuse to conform to the “me too” crowd. It perhaps strikes at the heart of those who desire a car with a story as well as character. The underdog who survived the onslaught of big companies who make people movers without soul, without identity.

        just my take on it… Ill agree to run the add, get the point across… then move on as if it never happened!

        • No disrespect felt at all!

          I understand your point of view, but I think there are much better ways to get the message across.

          Nothing says “we’re alive!” as much as just being loud and visible, but let’s not say “we were dying”, “others counted us out” while we’re at it.

      • I think the first ad is needed, especially in the US. The headline grabs your attention and by the time you are at the end of the copy, you seeing a full-range of saabs. The “Nicht German” is a good ad, but in the US where SAAB’s brand awareness is very low – you need something unique – and that story is one that will connect with potential buyers.

      • I’m quite sure that both of these ads are US only. No need to be concerned about the first one coming to Sweden, where it’s absolutely not needed.

        Great story to lead the US market, though.

      • gunteman, I assume you are writing from Sweden (based on the comment about German brands in Sweden). There is likely a much higher awareness of Saab’s survival there because of all the coverage and news about the shutdown, sale, etc. But for here in the US I think an introductory ad like this is needed. First, I would not be surprised if 20% of the population here have never been aware of the brand at all. Of the other 80% I expect 70% of those still think Saab was shut down like Saturn, Hummer, and Pontiac. That may be amazing to people in Sweden, but it is likely true outside of the parts of the US where Saab has been traditionally popular (like the northeast).

        Since the sale of Saab did not get a lot of national coverage here, this message has to be told at least once in this ad. As others have said, not everyone reads WSJ, but those that do are people with the money to buy a Saab and likely they now are buying BMW and Audi (and Mercedes, etc.). Also those who may lease company cars are likely to read WSJ also. I think this ad will truly help here in the US.

        • But yes, it will not help to keep telling that story (and it SHOULD have been told last year). I don’t think we will see that message in the follow-on ads.

          • maanders.
            I donΒ΄t agree with you. Saab are now in a better position to spread the news cos now they have cars to sell (at least more). That is smarter I think!

          • I keep reading that this ad is a year late, but last year the 9-5 wasn’t even available and it was coming in as a Aero6 version only with the black dash and limited options. Now that the US actually has cars to sell, like the 9-5 and soon the 9-4 coming along. Remember that leasing options have now been figured out, along with more cars being available; its a better time to invest the money in ads, considering that people will now be impressed with what is in the showrooms!

  9. I love them.

    Also interesting to note that these came out as soon as a German took charge of SCNA πŸ™‚

  10. I am so glad to see this advertising blitz taking form. Every once in awhile I will have someone comment to me that it was a shame GM closed Saab. The phoenix shall rise.

  11. Wow, these are great. Direct, from the heart, and very honest. Any word on which design house made these advertisements or were they done in-house?

    • I’ll comment….
      1.7 million…. MILLION……cars for a fuel line issue…

      That’s a whole bunch of Aspirin (or adult beverage) needed….

      But this is about Saab… so , on with the show!

    • I read today that in 2010, Skoda stopped putting sunroof’s in their Yeti’s and Superbs… Because they didn’t work. They (VW) also had a known software problem in the 1.2 TSI engines when they were launched that put the car into limp home mode, or had no power at all.

      I’m also reading problems with Volvo’s D2 (1.6 Diesel, used by many), cars losing power. XC90’s also leak. Even new ones.

      Didn’t Hyundai have issues with the steering of the new Sonata in the US?

      I have slammed Saab in the past for these kinds of things. It would seem that it happens to the best. I shall slam Saab no more.

    • Save the pictures to your PC and zoom in. It helps (a bit)
      Allowed me to read the text. Without reading glasses. And I am end-40. πŸ˜‰

  12. *sighs with relief*

    I’m thrilled with these ads. They’re smart and good looking – Feels like the old days again!!!!

  13. Didn’t something like that happen in the Mark Twain novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876)?

    Just a thought.

  14. Nice but the “Saab survived” message is six to eight months late. Say, in late July when I presented AdLobs that conveyed that message at SOC. Or in August when similar AdLobs/ads were posted on the Internet. At the time, “survival” was “new” news and a message that may have resonated with Saab’s target audience. Since then, I’ve come to the conclusion that Saabs should be sold aggressively and on their considerable merits, which would not only deliver the message that Saab is still around but also begin going after the competition. That’s opposite to what most people have been saying on SU, and obviously opposite of what VM and others have decided as well. But what do I know? After over four decades of experience in advertising, marketing and branding, it’s possible I haven’t learned a damned thing or have completely forgotten what I once knew.

    • The first ad is an unfortunate necessity. There are too many people in the US who *still* think Saab is dead. It’s the elephant in the room and has to be addressed.

      You’re right about the timing, of course, but for consumers who think Saab is dead it will still seem as fresh as it would have last summer.

      This is really an empirical question, I’d love to see what Saab’s market surveys tell them on the topic.

        • Yes, Henrik. Many Americans do not pay much attention to what happens elsewhere in the world, but in this case, Saab has never had the brand awareness in all regions of the US that it has in Europe. So Saab needs first to make sure in the US that those who even know about Saab know that Saab is still in business with new models to sell, and then beyond that introduce themselves to those who do not know much about Saab. The ads that focus on what makes a Saab special/unique will then help define the brand. Americans like to support an underdog or small company that has something different to offer vs. “the big boys”. If Saab can carve out a message that makes them the cool, intelligent choice, I think that can work right now in the US.

    • Curvin, were there enough cars in stock six months ago? I do not see the point in advertising if you have nothing on the shelves to sell?

      • Rune…
        Keep in mind that they were in fact running ads six months ago, notably “She is not for you,” which absolutely wasn’t a compelling way to say “we’re back.” All in all, of course, it’s water under the bridge. Time to move on and hope for the best, especially ever greater sales figures and more new Saabs on the road.

        • I would normally agree that the “we’ve survived” ads are late, but Greg’s right that many here in the US think Saab went out with “old GM.” It’s indeed late, but they should do a run of “we’ve survived,” put it in the US’s biggest business newpaper so movers and shakers and opinion makers know, and then move on to the more aggressive stuff you want. There with you 100%.

          • It’s not the fact that Saab survived that needs to be put out there. Any ad campaign, regardless of message, will make that point. It’s the story of how Saab survived that is worth telling. The story of an underdog beating the odds, of a little car factory saved by the devotion of it’s customers – it’s a great story, one that will generate a lot of sympathy, and one that can be told again and again for many years to come. This story helps define the new Saab. And so far in the US, the story hasn’t been told even once, so in my view it’s most definitely not too late. I love the rebirth ad! (And the other one too. It has just the right mix between cockiness and respect towards the competition.)

    • Touche.

      Obviously they can’t “slam” them and had to speak somewhat highly of them, lol.

      Good advertisements nonetheless.

    • I’m glad somebody said it…

      Not happy in the least about this ad strategy:
      The first is indeed 8 months late.
      2nd: Atrocious…Teenage elision of Bavarian and German …and this is supposed to be a car for Smart Volk? Is that funny?
      Or is it designed to provoke BMW to respond with ‘Hypocrites’ (no disrespect of course…) and out of the frisson we’re seen to be ‘Alive’?

      • Respectful disagreement…

        I think criticizing the timing of the ad is not worth the keystrokes. Nothing can be done about it now and no superior alternative can be implemented (short of Saab inventing a time machine…which would be criticized by us for having plasticky trim pieces).

        I also think that people are sharp enough to realize that the Nicht German ad is not intended to literally equate Bavarian and German (if that is the sense in which you are using ‘elision’) and if they’re not sharp enough, it doesn’t make a whit of difference. Nor is the ad intended to drum up publicity out of the cheap thrill of provoking BMW (auto manufacturers regularly poke harmless fun at each other). Saab is highlighting the fact that, unlike just about everybody else, they are not copying the brands that are perceived as benchmarks. That kind of independence is rare…and a fundamental and sustainable component of the Saab DNA.

        My take is that neither of these ads are aimed at you. Or me. Or anybody else on this site. They’re a first step in reintroducing Saab to people in the US market who don’t even know that Saab is still around.

  15. We can all agree that “I’m alive!” is overdue for such a key market for overall sales volume. Let’s hope with 9-4x & 9-5sc launches this year that there really is integrated multi-media support to keep the brand out there. Billboards, product placement in TV, SAABs on display in malls, etc.

    If SAAB USA advertised that they were giving away one 9-5 aero, one 9-4x aero and one 9-3 aero for 2011- no purchase necessary – entry is one entry per person per model test drive…you’d “drive” foot traffic to dealers and have people in and out ofeach model.

    A chance to win one, two or three cars? people will know SAAB is alive and where to find dealerships

    • That would drive some traffic and some press. They could then do follow-up coverage of the winners and what they think of the new Saabs.

  16. I have to chime in a little here as a dealer in the US and a contributor to SU and creator of some recent ads I am running as a radio and tv campaign as we speak.

    IMO the “story of Saab” projects the exact message ee have been asking for here. Trust me it is not to late to reeducatw this hemisphere on Saab. Sure, we aspired to have this message sooner Than now but what we are seeing here is the public that does not know what happen to Saab. Also consider this, the general public still does not know about Saab so whether we started this message then or now this is still the beginning of the story to the reader. I fully beIeve this is exactly what US citizens need to read.
    As this is the “story of Saab” it will further unfold into other branches of this theme. Veiwing some of the copy was exciting for me and my staff. In fact it directly addresses one of the five truth and dare questions I suggested were our top issues based on customer feedback.

    The second ad is a strong in your face ad that make me smile. Again IMO exactly what’s needed here in the US.

    These ads are the tip of the iceberg. Stay sharp. Saab increased it’s plans for advertising and marketing in the US by 33% in 2011 That’s a major additon to the plan.

  17. I’m generally very pleased with the ads! Just what I’ve come to expect from Saab — intelligent humor and an engaging story. I’m looking forward to what they come up with next…good to feel the momentum starting to build after such a long time of general marketing silence.

    I think it’s important to remember that these ads are not aimed at us, but at everybody else (in the US).

  18. Mike. That’s an excellent point. We here are so saaby that we could nit pick anything. But the average person is clueless about the really small things that we see but they will not.

  19. Good ad. I just read “VW closes down Wolfsburg” on LLVD. If Trollhattan and China could conspire to make an $18K? oldgen 93 or 95….would that be a bad thing?

  20. I love both of these ads, and I love the fact that they’re in the WSJ. Though their editorial page is…biased would be the civil word for it, the WSJ is read by Saab’s most important demographic: intelligent people with money.

    I really like the Nicht German ad, because I’ve had to explain more than once that Saab isn’t German…after explaining that they are still in business. Every time: “Saab, didn’t they shut down? Whatever, those German cars are overpriced and cost too much to fix anyway.”

    • +1 Jeff (ironic that I’d like your comment, eh?) Although I still get morons asking me if they’re French. Whaaaahhht?

      I’m going to agree that the full frontal 9-5 angle is not the shot I’d have opened with, maybe use the profile shot instead. The beauty of the 9-5 is that its proportions are incredibly slinky, modern, yet carry forward classic Saab design themes. The front isn’t its strongest selling point. That said, I’m sure I’ll get to see the profile shot tomorrow or Friday (fingers crossed) in the WSJ as there’s more ads coming.

      Today in NYC we got a solid food of snow. It would have been the perfect opportunity to use the ad from the other day that I made with Till’s amazing photos. Oh well. BTW Victor and Matthias, you can use that free of charge. πŸ˜‰

      • For the record:
        I think Jeff’s ad (picture and copy — with slightest of tweaks to mention XWD explicitly)
        is infinitely better than anything Saab has solicited professionally (in North America at least) in the last year.

        It’s clever and positive.

        • Way too kind. If this whole architecture thing doesn’t work out (so far so good) I might try advertising πŸ˜‰ I’m actually up in Toronto a lot so I should say hi sometime.

          I think Jeff’s ad (picture and copy β€” with slightest of tweaks to mention XWD explicitly)

          Once again I prove to be slightly learning impaired or just overtired. Here’s the tweaked one I should have posted instead.

          • Jeff, I agree that yours is better than almost any ad effort I’ve seen, including the good current one. Would you be able to convert your ad to something more horizontal that could be used as a desktop wallpaper? I would LOVE to use it.

          • Hi Jeff. Do you have a higher resolution version that comes out nicely on letter size? I think it’s a great ad and I’ll be happy to stick a copy on my office door for everyone to see.

    • “intelligent people with money”

      Well, at least people with money that think that they are intelligent.
      It’s great that Saab is cranking up the PR machinery, any exposure is better than what we have seen the last year. I’m not exactly thrilled about the Wall Street Journal, a paper that usually puts me sound to sleep within a minute, but, again, any exposure I see as an improvement.
      What I’m seriously concerned with is the the apparent direction that Saab is heading in, i.e. targeting the premium car segment and people with money. I always felt that Saab was about great cars at affordable prices. That’s why smart people were buying Saabs, that’s why Saab densities were always quite high around universities. Academics are usually a bit smarter than the average, don’t make huge amounts of money and, dare I say it, are on average slightly more liberal. Not exactly the crowd that you target through the WSJ.

      • Couldn’t agree with you more. Having seen that Saab UK are basically taking over the ESPN cricket iOS app, I think it’d be smart for SCNA to make a huge buy for the nytimes apps, or get an iAd from Apple. Studies have shown iAds to have the longest customer retention of any online ads, so it fits. Don’t hate on me for liking apple on this one, it’s been reported by reputable news sources. πŸ˜›

      • While that image of Saab owners in the US may have been historically true (because of the popularity of Saab in the northeast, an area that tends to be more liberal than conservative) I find that Saab owners today in the US are a much more diverse bunch of people. I do think they appeal to who appreciate the intelligent design and engineering put into the cars.

        But, part of Saab’s reputation for being the “quirky” car driven by college professors who wear tweed sportcoats with patches on the sleeves is really just a cliche at this point. A wide variety of people who like to keep up on business news do read the WSJ. Of course this should not be the only place Saab should advertise, but I don’t think it is as far outside the “Saab demographic” in the US as some would think.

        • I love Saab and I am willing to bet I break all the rules for the traditional “mainstream” Saab owner.

          πŸ™‚ I am very ok with it

        • That situation actually was true in the days when the 96 and 95 were the only Saab models made. The later 99 model drivers were already a different type of people.

  21. On the first one… Sure, from our point of view it’s come too late but on the other hand maybe it had to take so long. For the broad mass who thought Saab was closed down it doesn’t really matter when you tell them. But if Saab had come along with that story let’s say half a year ago in the US what would have happened? There were really few cars in stock, leasing was still a concern… Back then people had not gotten the impression of a vivid brand. Now that stock is at a better level and financing is in place Saab is in a position to satisfy a potential customer and can tell that quite emotional story of its rebirth so that people come back into the showrooms.

    So maybe timing is not that bad…

    I like those ads. They’re fresh without being too agressive. They’re Saab.

    • I couldn’t agree more with you. Even still some dealers are struggling to get inventory in. As I’ve said before my dealer until recently never had a Saab sign since they started selling them 4 years ago (Buick/GMC/Saab dealer). This is their temporary solution, a flag draped over the old Hummer sign. They just received a shipment of about 20 cars, yet they’re all sitting way out in the back of the lot while used pontiacs, subarus, and chevys sit out under the Saab sign. I’m going to stop over there tomorrow for service anyway, and I’m hoping to find out what the final timeline is to get Saab into the old Hummer building and more importantly, parking the freaking cars in front of the dealer. It’s on the highest trafficked street in the entire city, and yet the cars are nowhere to be seen. I’ve spoken to management and they have said that they were waiting for Saab to pick up their advertising before they went full throttle with them again, I think it’s finally time. They’re a great dealer otherwise I’d never buy from them or get service, but at some point you have to push a little as a customer who wants to see more responsiveness and greater outreach.

  22. Thrilled to see this campaign… Ads like this this do not need to reach me (or most readers of SU). In recent weeks I have spoken to more than one person who has made statements like “Saab? You’ve heard they’re not making those anymore, right?”
    With the 9-5 readily available in the US and the 9-4x not far off, the timing of these ads makes sense (no matter how good I would have felt about wider exposure of Saab’s survival story a year ago.)

  23. My last comment for the night, and I might get in trouble for it because it’s going to be one of those super speculative ones AND not even related to the advertising post, so I apologize in advance.

    It appears BMW has decided to recreate the 900/OG 9-3. According to, It’s going to be FWD, and be called a “Compact Activity Tourer” (you can’t make this stuff up folks). Could be called the 1 series GT? While it’s certainly more BMW flavored than Saab, its proportions make me wonder if the Saab didn’t provide ample inspiration.

    Now the exciting part…if Victor’s project 92 were to have any legs to it, this would be the platform use, wouldn’t it πŸ˜‰

  24. Very nice! However they are making their appearance at least 9 months later than they needed to be appearing,

  25. I like them. I am not the target group as I know that Saab is alive. And I will not agree with those here who say that it is “too late”. If Saab had done this in the first half of 2010 they would not have gained the same momentum as is possible now, because then the factory was trying to increase the pace of production and they also lacked cars in resellers showrooms.

  26. Love the ads, especially the cheeky funeral ad, I was against the idea of telling the near death story at first as it might shake confidence in consumers but it’s a story worth telling and I think Americans like the idea of the little guy who has made it through something that has effected us all. I think with so many people loosing their jobs, businesses going under and major care companies going bankrupt, consumers are not seeing near death as a huge negative, perhaps even a positive as it shows the company was strong enough and well run that it could make it though the storm.

    Additionally I think the timing is great, Saab now has 9-3 stock, base 9-5s and the 9-4x information released and preorders being taken. Plus consumer confidence is returning now, auto sales in the US are predicted to make a big rebound in 2011, Saab is hitting right when people are thinking about new cars again. If they had done this a year ago it might have been too early, not enough consumers looking to buy and not enough choices in the product line up.

  27. I had to laugh when I read the headline of the first ad… which woke a up my flatmate. I’m sorry, Daniel, but it’s just so funny. Well done, Saab. Well done.

  28. For those about to complain that the text is too small:
    Save the pics to your computer and ZOOM IN.
    It helps – at least helped for me and I am end-40 years old…

  29. What size were these ads? Half-page, 1/3? What else was on the same page? The placing makes all the difference.

    Really nice ads! Like the “Nicht German” one, but I’m also a bit skeptical about all Victor Muller-talk in the funeral-ad… Still love that classic Gill Sans-look — it feels like we’re back to the design from way back (in a positive way) πŸ™‚

  30. It will be interesting to hear from USA dealers what is the result of this new ad program after its run for some weeks.

    Personally if I would do a tv-ad about Saab in the USA. It would be a churchyard funeral where guy jumps out of the coffin and runs to nearest Saab and takes off.

    • TuuSaR…
      “No” to your TV idea IMHO. “Yes” to seeing how this advertising work for dealers.

    • I thnk they could do a very clever rebirth TV Ad, it would get a lot of attention. Old 9-5 into new 9-5 or whatever, do it with the same degree of artsiness as their other ads, not cheesie

  31. Am about to go to LA again, and was pondering paying a random Saab dealer a visit. In preparation I found this:
    With incentives still on (assumingly to clear the 2010 models), combined with the declining dollar, no wonder it is hard to make any moneys….
    Hopefully the ads will drive some interest and show room visits and sales, in order to get away from these kind of extreme discounts… (sometimes, I wish I lived in the US, able to take advantage of these offers)

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