Over the summer I received a pamphlet in the mail from Chevrolet touting their summer-long "Chevrolet Total Confidence" pricing promotion. The cover of the mailing immediately caught my eye with the italicized words reading "the spirit of Saturn lives on."
Saturn Corporation was the first North American auto manufacturer to utilize aerial advertising when the Saturn Lightship made its debut in the summer of 2001. The Saturn Lightship, a 165-foot, 6,335-pound A150 blimp, traveled across the United States supporting a variety of events and promotions held to promote the launch of the company's first sport utility vehicle, the Saturn Vue.
In Saturn's early days, the company's brochures were always a little bit different from your "typical" vehicle brochures. In addition to showcasing that model year's new features, Saturn used the pages of its brochures to tell a story about what made its cars different. You'll notice how none of the brochures below even show a car on their covers.
Jean Halliday from Advertising Age: General Motors said it wasn't going to do corporate ads — and then it put Chairman Ed Whitacre in its multiple-model "May the Best Car Win" campaign. The automaker also said it was going to create distinctive advertising for its four remaining vehicle brands, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC — but tell that to subscribers of Newsweek and BusinessWeek.
Charlene Sadler from CBC News: Historians reviewing what went wrong with Saturn shouldn't blame fickle consumers for turning their back on a brand trying to do things differently, says an automotive marketing expert.
The news last week about Saturn's current owner magazine going all-digital got me thinking about the first Saturn owner newsletter. The first one that I can remember at least. Long before there was "Saturn 360" or even "Saturn Signatures," there was a quarterly publication called "Visions" that Saturn put together for owners, team members, and their families.
Saturn's early television and print ads were quirky, offbeat spots that often focused more on the emotional side of owning a car, rather than talking about latest models from Saturn. But in a clever, indirect, and very effective manner those first ads were very much all about Saturn, and how owning a Saturn could make you feel. Take this commercial that aired in or around 1992.
Alisa Priddle from the Detroit News: Lutz is convinced advertising is the key. He compared the dismal sales of the critically acclaimed Saturn Aura, which was named North American Car of the Year, to the sales success of the Chevrolet Malibu, also a Car of the Year winner. The difference: GM spent more than $100 million to advertise the Malibu, 10 times what it spent on the Aura, Lutz said.
John Stoll from the Wall Street Journal: To spark interest and remind consumers that Saturn is still alive, its dealers have kicked off a new marketing campaign built around the slogan, "Wonder where the car business is headed? It's here." The slogan will be used on banners across Saturn storefronts and in a spate of email blasts, Facebook blogs and direct communications with buyers.
Saturn.com Now Lets You "Ask Jill" Questions About the Brand as the Company Expands its Web Presence
Saturn recently added a new feature to its website that allows visitors to pose questions directly to General Manager Jill Ladjziak. Some folks have already taken advantage of the opportunity. They've asked questions about Saturn's future, the impact any changes in ownership will have on their vehicle warranty, and who she rooted for during the Stanley Cup finals (well, maybe not that question). Keeping in close contact with customers is something Jill has always felt strongly about and excelled at doing. This new tool gives Jill and her team a way to communicate on a personalized level with owners and enthusiasts.
Random Article from the SaturnFans.com Archives
General Motors today submitted a plan to use Federal bridge loans to create a leaner, more competitive company, one that is profitable and self-sustaining for the long term. The plan, submitted in response to Congressional hearings in November, includes a detailed blueprint for a successful, sustainable General Motors.