• Jul 20, 2009
Buick LaCrosse "Photo Shoot" ad - Click the image above to view the video after the jump

Looks like there could be too many cooks in the Buick PR kitchen, and the soup is looking worried. For the new GM to get on its feet, Buick has to find its feet. To do that, Buick has created a number of ad campaigns meant to showcase its new product and bring new, younger buyers to the brand. One of the commercials in the campaign is called "Photo Shoot," and according to a report, the recently empowered VP of marketing, Bob Lutz, isn't particularly pleased with the spot.

Both Lutz and GM CEO Fritz Henderson don't believe the commercial positions Buick as a luxury brand that competes with Lexus. They have told GM's ad agency, Leo Burnett, that it needs to do better. However -- and here's where it gets convoluted -- the ad was created by an independent shop that Leo Burnett was told to hire to do the work. Mark LaNeve, GM's head of marketing, allegedly instructed Burnett to hire Gary Topolewski, a former creative director at Burnett who worked with LaNeve on Cadillac's Break Through ad campaign, and who now runs another ad agency.

The other character in the middle of all of this is Buick VP Susan Docherty, who defended the commercial. She said it fulfills its role of promoting a revamped Buick brand, adding that she looks "forward to working with Bob and sharing spots two through six with him." Follow the jump to watch the commercial, and you can decide if it makes you put the word "Buick" in the same sentence with "Lexus."

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 87 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Lutz is too old-fashioned to know.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Am i the only one who saw this ad on tv and kinda liked it?

      I almost kinda made me want to have a buick.
      • 5 Years Ago
      IMO the commercial only briefly touches on the "New Buick" the director says something about the star having "had some work" meaning a face lift. I think they have to scream at you that they have new products like Ford does in its adds. The Ford adds talk to consumers and they say they can't believe that the car is a Ford. Beating up on the old Ford but convincing you to take a look. That Buick certainly looks different than your fathers. In 30 seconds you should hammer home the message multiple times if you want to change the perception that the public has of your product. I don't think that commercial does it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Its actually a Statesman/Caprice sent from Australia as a kit car that's assembled in China

      http://www.holden.com.au/vehicles/Statesman

      http://www.holden.com.au/vehicles/Caprice
      • 5 Years Ago
      Horrible ad campaign. GM public image is in the tank and their agency comes up with this lightweight, fluff that focus all attention on the superficial. Very disappointing. At least Lutz knows this crap is a mistake.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Bob Lutz: you are not young, or hip and therefore are not allowed to comment on whether this add hits that specific demographic.

      I, on the other hand, am both young, and hip. I think it hits the crowd perfectly, and i love the commercial. The real issue here is that i still hate Buicks in general. You cold cram this commercial down my through during every episode of "The Hills" or "Hogan knows best" and i would still think that Buick sucks balls (because they do). If you fix the fact that Buick has absolutely nothing to offer me as an employed 20-something, then maybe i'll take another look.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A failed brand!
        • 5 Years Ago
        To the cat from Alpine: Over the last 3 years or so, Chrysler has sold a very large number of the 300C. The CTS and the Malibu were released into the teeth of a vicious recession, and they're still doing respectable numbers. The new defunct Aura has made a slow but steady climb in numbers.

        Do you think Nissan has sold as many recent generation Maximas as Chrysler has sold 300C(s)?

        Ford is doing rather decent numbers with the Fusion, the MKZ is slow but steady.

        Ford has also unloaded quite a large number of Edges, GM has also steadily moved Acadias, Enclaves and Traverses.

        This is the first time in the last 30 years or so, that the domestics have had so many competitive vehicles to offer.

        Nissan, Toyota, Volvo, Saab, Acura are going to be the first victims. Both GM and Ford have credible entry level cars on the way, it's going to be a dogfight.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Mr. Oak -

        I live near the same area, actually Alpine, NJ and the surrounding area of Bergen County and I do not see the C/E/S-Classes, Cayennes, 3/5/6/7-series being replaced by domestics with the exception of maybe the CTS.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That FAILED brand sold an awful lot of BUICKS (at a profit) in China. You folks think a misguided ad, that was running long before the "New GM" emerged form bankruptcy, is going to decide the fate of this company, is just as stupid as the person that made the ad.

        It all comes down to the product. I live in northern NJ very upscale Maplewood/Livingston/Short Hills/Milburn/Morristown area, I'm seeing an awful lot of domestic GM, Ford & Chrysler models in driveways that were formerly populated with European/Japanese brands. While the domestics will never have the market share they enjoyed 50s and 60s, the imports will never again enjoy the rout they had in the 80s, 90, and early 2000s. It's going to be a dogfight from here on in, and baled on product that I see coming out of the domestics lately, I have to say that I like our chances.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Misses the mark by a hundred miles. Bob is right. LAME beyond words and does nothing but lower expectations of the brand with inane stupidity. Once gain -as with the G8 - Government Motors doesn't have a clue how to market a great product. Good Lord... can't GM do ANYTHING correct?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Maybe, but GM still puts out better commercials than Ford's local-access channel appearing commercials.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What!? It doesn't scream youth, it screams we're old, we want to attract
      "hip" buyers, and this is the best we could come up with -
      apparently, they still haven't realized that no one under 30 will
      ever associate Buick with "cool" or "relevant." This sort of campaign
      is utterly futile, if not entirely counter productive - I'm 19 y/o,
      and I hate Buick more than I did before seeing this commercial. It's
      just contrived, panderous nonsense.
      • 5 Years Ago
      First the commercial does stink. I've seen it a few times and all I can do is roll my eyes and think "They killed off Pontiac but not Buick...". Buick just has that stigma of "The Old Person's Car" its the car for those old people who can't afford a Cadi. If they seriously wish to shake that stigma is going to take alot. And that faux photoshoot commerical with the car in it wont help one damn bit.

      If they seriously wish to wash off the stigma how about this? Have a commerical with the car driving around either day or at night, being whipped around corners and long bends say in Cali on some cliff, insert some spirited themed music not to hip or emo'ish but definatly not classical type music. Put in comments about performance and stress some MPG numbers (its all the rage nowadays dont ya know haha). After this have the Buick pull infront of a club with a bunch of 20-30 somethings standing in line waiting to get it. Do a quick pan around and we all watch as a bunch of 20-30 somethings get out of the car and hand the keys to the vallet. Unsure if a catchy tag line should be tossed in or not but overall people will get the sence of "Hey Buick is kinda sporty/fast and young people actually like it hmm might have to look into 'em."
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yes, the ad sucks. Couldn't figure out if this was advertising the photographer or the car.

      Then there is the laughable notion that Buick wants to be compared with Lexus? Slathering your cars in yards of fake wood on the inside and fitting huge wide mouth bass from ends doesn't make you a competitor with Lexus. It takes quality and actual product - something you still don't have no matter how you spin the Buick Traverse (I labeled it correctly) or the second attempt at LaCrosse (even a 14 your old gets it right the first time). Honestly Buick, you would be wise just to shut up, build really decent products over a few years and then let the natural market forces show us who you are really competing against.

      And if Buick is competing with Lexus, where does that place Cadillac? Competing against bad taste with eyesore designs, poor interior piece fit, and 1974 AMC Hornet Station Wagons?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I spent a lot of time in the new CTS and ESV. Frankly, I don't know what you're on about with regard to Cadillac.

        And what exactly does a 14-year-old "get right" the first time?
        • 5 Years Ago
        "or the second attempt at LaCrosse (even a 14 your old gets it right the first time)."

        Do you think before you start typing or do you just mash on the keyboard until you get enough random words and phrases to put together? This is utterly incoherent and I can't figure out what you're going on about.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ignore the import troll
      • 5 Years Ago
      Susan, the ad campaign fulfills the role of insulting the customer's intelligence.
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