Detroit, Lifestyle
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Listening to Consumer Insights Helps Buick Create Successful New Ad Campaign


On May 8, the Adcraft Club of Detroit hosted GM Day featuring U.S. Vice President of Marketing for Buick and GMC Brands, Tony DiSalle. The Detroit Renaissance Center’s Ambassador Ballroom was filled with nearly 500 Adcraft members and guests interested in gaining insight into Buick’s newest and quite successful “That’s a Buick?” ad campaign.

“There are people who know Buick, people who don’t know Buick and people who think they know Buick,” DiSalle said.

Buick’s goal was to change the perceptions of those who “think they know Buick, but have a false familiarity” with the brand. Buick wants to be known as a luxury brand that’s approachable, inviting and warm. Changing perceptions and “false familiarity” required research and an in-depth look at what consumers were really thinking.

Research uncovered that 80 percent of the Buicks on the road today are out-of-production models such as the LeSabre and Century sedans. It’s no wonder consumer insights found that people, a majority of them being Baby Boomers, associated Buick as a “geriatric” brand. To target this audience, Buick created an ad campaign that wasn’t afraid to poke fun at common perceptions. The commercials showcase people, young and old, surprised by Buick’s fresh new look. Common phrases such as, “It doesn’t look like a Buick,” serve as a reminder that the new Buick can be humorous and all around expectation shattering. DiSalle also discussed the importance of marketing to Millennials. The millennial generation, unlike the Baby Boomers, Listening to Consumer Insights Helps Buick Create Successful New Ad Campaign was seen as a clean slate. They lacked the aforementioned common perceptions and were a key audience, as they will soon purchase a car of their own. As always, social media played a major role in communicating Buick’s message. Focusing on customer experience, Buick implemented everything from puppies to babies to the Harlem Globetrotters to win the hearts of consumers across the country. They utilized recognizable people like The Illusionists, Vine star Zach King and Trick Shot Titus and tapped into trends like the NCAA March Madness to create engaging and memorable content.

The ads, which are consistent at local and national levels, portray Buick as honest and human – unless, of course, you watched the “Woof” Dog Commercial where a group of neighborhood dogs argue whether the vehicle in the driveway is a Buick or not a Buick.

Buick continues to see positive media results and has won several awards for the campaign since launching just 13 months ago. They recently announced they would extend the campaign to include features such as in-car Wi-Fi and OnStar. Buick’s creative ad campaign is proof that poking fun at yourself, listening to consumer insights and focusing on customer experience can generate significant buzz for your products.

This article was originally published in The Adcrafter Magazine. 

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