Magazine article ADWEEK

Saturn Comes out and Says It: 'People First'; Car Maker Simplifies Its Customer-Focused Credo in New Batch of Goodby Ads

Magazine article ADWEEK

Saturn Comes out and Says It: 'People First'; Car Maker Simplifies Its Customer-Focused Credo in New Batch of Goodby Ads

Article excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO Saturn launches a new campaign today that extends its customer-centric philosophy with a simpler, streamlined tag: "People first."

Three spots with the new line are rolling out from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco. Five more will phased in during the coming months. In addition to extending the company's core message, the ads address specific attributes of Saturn and its expanding line, including its haggle-free sales approach, available OnStar GPS roadside-service system and dent-proof doors.

Saturn, which spends an estimated $240 million on ads per year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, used the word "different" to anchor the two previous taglines in its 14-year history. Hal Riney & Partners launched the brand in 1990 with "A different kind of company. A different kind of car." When Goodby took over the account in March 2002, it tweaked the line to become "It's different in a Saturn."

But research found people did not fully understand that line, said Jamie Barrett, partner and co-creative director at the Omnicom Group agency. "People first" was an internal company mantra at Saturn, and Goodby creatives simply chose to state it in the ads.

Said Barrett, "We thought, 'Why get all clever about it? Why get cryptic? Let's just tell people about it. Saturn is not about being overtly tricky or clever. We can get this done in two words.' "

"We wanted to remind people that even though our product line is expanding, the buying and ownership experience is different [from other brands]," added Scott McLaren, ad manager at Saturn. …

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