SAAB STEERS UNIQUE LOOK INTO ALL AVENUES

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Saab has found its own marketing road, based on integrating its quirky brand campaign into all of its communications.

The latest example of Saab's strategy was unveiled last week with the opening of a World Wide Web site (http://www.saabusa.com) that features the same brightly colored illustrations used in the "Find your own road" ad campaign that broke in April.

Since the campaign's introduction, Saab Cars USA also has incorporated the impressionistic look into its direct mail, its exhibit for auto shows, the lobby design of its Norcross, Ga., headquarters, a line of clothing and even the price sticker on new-car windows in the showroom.

Angotti, Thomas, Hedge, New York, created the ad campaign and oversees the way it's used in other marketing areas.

"Being a niche player, every brand impression counts," said David Krysiek, director of marketing for the Swedish luxury car marketer. "The feeling of fun that the campaign conveys has been very beneficial to the brand."

Indeed, Mr. Krysiek links the success of the campaign to a strong surge in Saab sales. Through October, Saab sold 22,741 cars in the U.S., a 26.3% increase over the first 10 months of 1994, according to trade publication Automotive News, Detroit.

According to Mr. Krysiek, measured awareness, brand consideration and consumer requests for information on the company's 800-number all have increased substantially since the debut of the campaign. Saab is spending an estimated $35 million on marketing this year, up a projected 26% from 1994.

The visually arresting "Find your own road" campaign is based on illustrations created for Saab by French artist Jeanne-Philippe Delhomme and supports Saab's reputation as a car embraced by non-conformists.

"We've set ourselves apart from the automakers who communicate status. Saab is an individualistic choice for people who don't care about social conventions," Mr. Krysiek said.

The new Web site includes information on pricing, performance, safety, heritage and recent news. A user can build his own Saab model, changing color and options and pricing it out.

Saab is planning an online contest in which a lease on a new model will be the prize. Also in the planning stages is a dealer locater, with links to dealers with their own home pages.

IconNet, New York, handled the technical aspects of putting up the home page. Saab insisted it be designed so that each graphic could be downloaded in 10 seconds or less using a 14.4 modem, Mr. Krysiek said. 12e

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