GM Is Back in Super Bowl After One Year Off
General Motors-owned Buick will air its first-ever Super Bowl commercial during next month's broadcast, a bid to raise the brand's profile ahead of a big product-launch year.
Buick confirmed its plans to Automotive News, citing the rollouts this year of a redesigned LaCrosse as well as two new nameplates: the Cascada convertible and the Envision compact crossover.
"Super Bowl 50 represents a perfect opportunity for us to showcase our newest vehicles to a global audience of millions of consumers," Buick said in a statement. Buick agency Leo Burnett, Detroit, will handle the spot, a person familiar with the matter confirmed to Ad Age.
A Buick spokeswoman declined to discuss details of the 30-second spot. Sources told Automotive News that it will feature the Cascada -- which arrives in dealerships in coming weeks as Buick's first droptop in 25 years -- and possibly other vehicles. The Envision and LaCrosse are slated for summer launches.
Super Bowl plans for GM's other brands are unclear. A GM spokesman declined to comment. Chevrolet, the company's, biggest brand, sat out the big game last year, although it ran an ad right before kickoff that portrayed a faux blackout. Chevy ran two Super Bowl ads in the 2014 Super Bowl.
Buick is nearly two years into its "Experience the New Buick" advertising campaign, which gives a tongue-and-cheek nod to the brand's reputation as a car for old folks. In an interview last month, Buick chief Duncan Aldred said the theme continues to resonate with consumers and will be incorporated into the vehicle-specific campaigns.
"From an advertising standpoint, we haven't had any real new product to use," Mr. Aldred said. This year "is really exciting because now we've got some fantastic new vehicles."
During the interview, Mr. Aldred did not mention Super Bowl plans but said: "We think we've got a fantastic Cascada ad." The convertible will be a relatively low-volume seller for Buick but should serve as a halo car for the brand, he said.
That GM is willing to spend the estimated $5 million to spotlight relatively low-volume Buick in the biggest advertising event of the year reflects the priority that executives have put on revitalizing the images of its brands.
Buick was the sole U.S. sales decliner among GM's four brands last year, with deliveries slipping 2.6%, to 223,055 vehicles. Aldred expects infusion of fresh sheet metal this year to help Buick to grow sales and market share.
MIke Colias is a reporter for Automotive News.
Ad Age contributed to this report.