• Mar 23rd 2011 at 3:32PM
  • 49
Buick Regal CXL Turbo commercial – Click above to watch video

Company: General Motors

Brand: Buick

Medium: TV

Ad Agency: Leo Burnett

Product: Regal Turbo

Campaign: Regal Turbo/NCAA

What We Like: The cinematography of the Regal in this spot makes the car look even better than it does when it sits in your driveway. And if your TV or computer speakers are any good at all, the sound of the engine and the turbo comes through. This is a simple ad, and the simplest messages are generally the most effective. "Turbo. Buick. Turbo. Buick. Get used to the sound." We like that they are not loading us up with the car's stats, as well. You can always get that stuff online anyway. The ad pretty effectively says, "This car looks good, sounds good and, dude, has a turbo! Yeah, we know it's a brand that's normally associated with Fred Mertz, 'Mr. C' from Happy Days or pretty much any Junior High School principal. But, seriously, it's worth checking out." We agree.

What We Don't Like: The driver looks a little too much like Rocco DiSpirito, or a Men's Health metro-sexual, and that's just annoying. But we are pretty sure that was what the ad agency was going for. We say we like the ad's simplicity, but is it too simple? Is this going to keep the average bloke from leaving the couch to refill his beer or nutbowl during a commercial break in March Madness? Maybe there could have been more of a hook in the copy... or a female? Or maybe we are just looking for things to poke at because we have to.

Strategy: Oldsmobile is gone. Pontiac is gone. Saturn is gone. Hummer is gone. Saab is sold. Thank the Chinese for saving Buick. They see Buick as some sort of Cadillac-Mercedes hybrid. Go figure. General Motors sells more of the tri-shield vehicles in the land of the Great Wall than in the land of the Grand Canyon. GM is pitching Buick as "luxury," and says there is room for both Buick and Cadillac in the company's luxury play, that they appeal to different luxury buyers. We think Buick appeals to luxury buyers who have lost a lot of money in the market, and had to sell their stuff, including the Mercedes, to keep junior in Country Day School. But there is no denying that the LaCrosse, Regal and Enclave are vehicles we would not be ashamed to drive to the dance, the kid's soccer game, or poker night. But luxury? Wethinks Buick doth need to find another way to communicate what it stands for. Oh, by the way, thanks for the turbo.

Grade: B

Watch the commercial after the jump and give it your own grade below.

What grad would you give this ad?
A 677 (21.5%)
B 926 (29.4%)
C 570 (18.1%)
D 270 (8.6%)
F 706 (22.4%)

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      What kind of driver would please AB? Obviously not a good-looking mid-30s man. Maybe they want some 70 year grandpa driving it. Or some obese woman? Please.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Turbo and supercharged engines aren't really that new to Buick. As late as 2004, the Regal GS had a supercharged V6 as did the 2005 Park Avenue Ultra. The 6-speed manual is a bit different/unique for a Buick but I imagine that the vast majority of Regals will no doubt come with an automatic so it will only appeal to a very small audience.

      Of course, the whole turbo/6-speed manual emphasis is really more of an attempt to infer a younger, sportier image regardless of how few they may actually sell with that powertrain combo.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Buicks` performance roots goes back quite a ways.
      Either the 69 or 70 Buick GS was the fasteset muscle car at the time.
      The 1987 Grand National had few rivals at the time.
      As for Buick being an old mans car. The wisdom with age knew a nice car when they seen it.
      Thank god the Chinese Know what a nice car is and we still have Buick.
      We here in the United States are too trendy for our own good. Toyota was the darling yesterday now Ford is then who will it be tomorow?
      Whats the it thing is music? Rock n roll sucks anymore.
      Things are looking up. Buick always was a nice car. Good to see perception change thank you China!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I dunno, I thought the driver was kinda cute. What, just because no punanny you complain? Watch any number of thousand of other commercials. The Regal does sound good in this tho.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'll tell ya one thing, THAT GUY will never drive or own a Buick.
        • 4 Years Ago
        +1 I thought the same thing.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think its a pretty good ad.

      Its simple - doesn't start listing out a million features of the car. Has lots of great visuals of the car on the road and even alludes to how their newest cars break from their old stodgy image.

      Definitely a solid commercial that needs other similar ones that show off the great interior.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Where was that commercial shot?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm surprised there's no reference to the GNX. I'm really pleased Buick has turned itself around. I always want to hate it, but the quality of materials in it is miles ahead of most American cars, and it doesn't look half bad. If they get the suspension fairly soft but quick, this looks like a good alternative to a euro.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Um, you guys are aware that Buick never was supposed to be GM's performance division, right?

        While the Regal GNX & T-Type were awesome cars, so were the GMC SyTy, and I haven't heard a whisper of GMC making an AWD turbo sport truck in a while. And don't forget Dr. Oldsmobile from back in the day.

        Chevy has the Corvette as its "halo", because they now wear the performance crown.

        Buick's top vehicles are the LaCrosse & Enclave. Which send a message of large, comfortable, quiet and composed. Doesn't mean Buick can't be fast, but those aren't the core brand values.

        The question is whether the Regal Turbo takes off. If it does, then we can see Buick expand to include an AMG-like series of options with improved performance. But first, GM's gotta see that even the basic Turbo sells. Then we can get the OPC / VXR types that we'd all like to see.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @MachDelta: To be quite honest, China was the best thing that ever happened to Buick.

        The Chinese use most Buicks for personal limousine duty, driven by hired drivers. It's literally the Rolls Royce of the Middle Kingdom. So GM is *forced* to look at the interior, ride, NVH, size and comfort characteristics to succeed. This push makes for a very different set of priorities which creates meaningful differences between a Buick & Chevy, or a Buick & Caddy.

        Now that more "middle-class" (it's all relative) Chinese are buying their own cars, GM is selling Chevy to slot under Buick as a value play, just like in the US. And at the top, we'll eventually see Caddy in China as well.

        But in the mean time, Buick marches to the beat of a different drummer, and that's not a bad thing.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The GNX is the closest thing Buick has ever had to a modern halo car. Meanwhile the brand struggles with it's image. What are halo cars all about? Image.
        I'm sure GM can connect the dots here - the question is how much money are they willing to spend to save Buick as a domestic brand? Or will they simply sacrifice it to the Chinese? My brain says the latter will happen, but my heart longs for the return of the GNX. :)
        • 4 Years Ago
        One of the problems is, if it isn't a performance line, and it isn't really a luxury brand worth looking at, then what is it?

        I'm just saying the last Buick that got any attention whatsoever was the GNX. It couldn't hurt. Although the Lacrosse isn't a bad seller, the competition is killing it. Same with the Enclave.

        So what should they do with Buick? I agree China feels more strongly about it than we do, so maybe they earned it. If it stays at home it better carve out a niche of some sort.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Buick is definitely "luxury" in the same way that Acura, Lexus and Lincoln are. Maybe even moreso.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Can I haz RWD?
      • 4 Years Ago
      If the car is available with a manual transmission & they're trying to push it as a sporty car, I find it hard to understand why they've chosen to show the "professional driver" in the commercial fiddling with the stupid 'manual' shift gate on the automatic gear box controls rather than showing footage of him expertly executing heroic heel-toe down shifts. As if it matters anyway. I'm sure the pedals in the manual transmission car are so far apart from each other, you could probably park a 2011 Durango in between them.
      • 4 Years Ago
      How many similes can you put in one post?

      I'm not impressed by the Aura, sorry Regal. I should be, I own an Astra and generally like Opel's products, but I'm just not getting the feeling with the Regal. Does anyone know what they changed when they brought it to the US from Europe?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Mostly the grille.

        Opel is a pretty expensive, dynamically-refined car compared to a Chevy, so the hard work was already done by Opel. Slapping the waterfall grille on and changing the badges was all that was really needed.

        Trying to sell expensive Opel cars with high development costs under a low-cost Saturn banner, without massive Chinese volume was a recipe for disaster. Flip things around with Chinese volume and near-top Buick price point, and Opel does just fine in the US. Price and position.
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