Having spent a few years now trying to persuade American consumers that its vehicles really are a lot better than you’d expect, Buick is spending its second consecutive year of Super Bowl advertising extending this theme.
Buick’s minute-long Big Game ad (there’s also a 30-second version for later usage) utilizes Cam Newton, quarterback of the Carolina Panthers, and Miranda Kerr, an Australian supermodel, in a humorous Big Game at that seeks to convince viewers that Buick’s hot-selling SUVs and crossovers are surprisingly good-looking.
It’s supported by a social media strategy that has focused on Instagram Stories to serve up teaser videos and sneak peeks in the days before Sunday’s game.
The spot, titled “Not So Pee Wee,” transpires at a youth football game where two dads are watching. “If that’s a Buick, then my kid’s Cam Newton,” one of them says as a woman steps out of a Buick in the parking lot. Naturally, the kid turns into Newton.
More consumers are stepping out of Buick utility vehicles these days, to be sure. In January, despite lower GM sales in the US overall, deliveries of Buick crossovers have increased 20 percent compared with a year ago, driven by higher sales of its compact Encore model and by demand for the somewhat larger Envision, which is built in China.
brandchannel spoke with Molly Peck, Buick’s director of marketing, for more on its Super Bowl strategy:
bc: What is the state of the Buick brand heading into Game Day?
Molly Peck (right): Buick is in a great spot. Success in the auto industry is driven by product. Last year, we launched four new products including the Buick Cascada, our first convertible in 25 years, and the Buick Envision compact luxury SUV. We are already seeing this product momentum translate into sales; 2016 was our best year in over a decade. Continuing to build on that success, we are launching three more product launches in 2017, which will give us one of the freshest product portfolios in the industry.
bc: Why continue with more “That’s a Buick?” positioning for the Super Bowl?
Peck: We still have great momentum with the “That’s a Buick” campaign. It continues to change people’s perception of the brand and is a strong platform for our expanding line-up. We are seeing an increase in opinion and consideration when it comes to purchasing a Buick, which shows the message resonates and continues working well for us.
bc: Why this specific creative approach?
Peck: The Super Bowl is one of the most exciting advertising platforms and one of the only programs where the advertisements are as important as the main event. We wanted our creative to be fun and expected, but we also wanted something that was relevant to football. We were fortunate enough to work with Cam Newton and Miranda Kerr to bring our creative to life. As two professionals who are at the top of their game, while being very friendly and approachable, they align very well to our Buick values.
bc: Buick is test-driving Instagram Stories to tease this year’s Super Bowl effort — how’s that going?
Peck: We are very excited to be the first and only automotive company partnering on the Instagram stories beta right now. It is a great new way to reach our target in an entertaining way. We also have relevant, real-time social content planned for Sunday. There is a lot of potential to join the Super Bowl conversation and reach customers throughout the game. We created a content library for these opportunities in order to be able to join in on what we know will be abundant social conversations.
bc: Some other Big Game brands, including auto, are veering into social commentary this Super Bowl. Any particular reason why Buick isn’t?
Peck: At Buick we worked hard with our agency team to develop an ad and content true to Buick qualities but dialed up for the Big Game. We are a relatable, friendly and humorous brand – all qualities that we find work great on the Super Bowl stage.