Shifts Ad Campaign to Emphasize Fun

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DETROIT ( -- Saab Cars USA is driving in a new ad direction as the Swedish car importer embarks on the most ambitious product expansion in its history.

The General Motors Corp. unit will emphasize the fun-to-drive aspect of its cars, said Hans Krondahl, vice president of marketing at Saab.

New focus
Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe Lintas, New York, is developing a TV spot to relaunch the premium 9-5 wagon and sedan with the new focus. Since the commercial is due later in the first quarter, an interim 9-5 TV spot slated for early January will break in the U.S. from Lowe Brindfors, Stockholm, which works on the global account.

The spot, also airing in Europe, shows a parasailer pulled by the 9-5 pining to drive the Saab.

Saab spent $20.8 million on measured media in the first nine months of 2001 vs. $35 million in the same period a year ago, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR. The marketer sold 34,837 cars through November vs. 35,726 units in the same period a year ago, according to Automotive News.

Concept car plans
Saab said it will introduce at least one new vehicle or concept car every year for the next six years. The automaker will unveil the 9-3X cross-over sedan concept with off-road capabilities at the Detroit auto show next week.

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