New Saturn Ads Try To Turn The Page on Riney

With Saturn's new advertising campaign well underway, Business Week's David Kiley blogs about his recent article about Saturn's latest marketing direction.

Deutsch LA's new TV ad for Saturn is an attempt to turn the page for Saturn, from heartfelt brand of small town America to hip, fashionable brand for positive change. Saturn has long been conflicted between the Hal Riney "Spring Hill Tennessee" strategy that launched the brand 17 years ago, and the modern Saturn that includes an acclaimed SUV that can run you close to $40,000. It's hard to walk away from that legacy, which is the stuff of advertising case studies and part of the Riney legend. But Eric Hirshberg, chief creative officer of Deutsch/LA says the agency research the heck out of Saturn in the last six to nine months and found that the target buyers for Saturn’s Outlook, Aura sedan, Sky roadster, Vue SUV and Astra sub-compact viewed the "Main Street" approach as being out of step with the current lineup.

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Penske Expresses Concern

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Roger Penske

Today it was confirmed that Roger Penske is indeed interested in Saturn. However, at this point it is only an "interest." He has not officially offered a proposal to GM. In a statement offered to the press, he expressed concern over General Motors' short deadline to sell off the brand. Earlier today, Detroit News reported that GM, under the advisement of S.J. Girsky & Co.