• Apr 2, 2011
Buick "What Matters" TV spot - Click above to watch video after the jump

This weekend, Buick is introducing a new ad the company calls its "brand anthem." Car companies do this once in a while. It's almost always a 60-second TV spot meant to illustrate a new idea of what the brand represents.

In Buick's case, its new anthem, to paraphrase, is "luxury for regular folks." The actual message the ad carries is, "Your Kind of Luxury." Buick says this is not a permanent tagline or slogan, but that it is dropping "The New Class of World Class," which it's been using as a tag for more than a year. The brand will go without a consistent slogan in future.

Buick is the brand that, more than any other, is trying to tell the public that times have changed. "Quiet" luxury is in, the marketers say. Buick ad chief Craig Bierley says that Buick is going back to its image roots established in the 1950s and 60s. He describes Buick in those years as the perfect car for the doctor who made house calls. If the doc drove a Cadillac, he would be saying that his rates were to high, Bierley explained. If he drove a Chevy or Dodge, he wasn't successful enough. Buick conveys authority and taste without showing off.

Buick is a big sponsor of the NCAA Men' Basketball Tournament. In many ways, it's the perfect marketing vehicle for Buick, reaching young sports fans as well as the older ones who are watching their alma maters compete in the Final Four. If they have alma maters, they're college educated. If they're college educated, it figures they have money to spend.

Buick buyers' average age is in the low 60s, a nice drop from 70s, which it was in 2009.

Cadillac, the Buick marketers tell us, is for people who like to show off their success. Buick is for the successful person with a more understated lifestyle. In other words, Caddy is the brand for the college hoops stars who are going pro. Buick is for the people who buy the tickets. Check out the new spot after the jump.

[Source: Buick via YouTube]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 54 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Very good ad and I really like the new Buick cars. Very nice looking with lots of features for a reasonable price.
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Buick conveys authority and taste without showing off."

      This.

      As for the 'age appeal' of Buick, the lower median age of its buyers has to be credited to the current lineup. If you're 40 and in the market for a new sedan or SUV, how can you not consider the newest Lacrosse, Regal, and Enclave? Because I can definitely understand why you'd pass on the Lucerne, the 'Taurus' Lacrosse, and the Rainer or Rendezvous entries from a few cycles ago.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Interestingly, the Rendezvous sold quite well for a Buick that wasn't a sedan. It's why Buick got the Enclave.

        But yeah, 40-something, with kids, you should be looking at a Buick for a larger car / CUV.
      • 3 Years Ago
      To be "luxury" I'm missing a few more emotional cars. There is a plan for a big coupe in Germany with a traditional name: Opel Calibra. I wouldn't wonder, if we see the same car under an even more traditionally name: Buick Riviera...
      • 3 Years Ago
      I like it.

      Buick is doing some really nice things these days.

      I'm in the heart of Buick's target market - a 40-something professional with a family and a house in the suburbs. When the time comes to replace what I am currently driving, Buick will definitely be on my list!

      I like that Buick's clearly upscale without being too flashy or ostentatious.

      Quick story: I was looking to Cadillac for my next ride and the CTS was foremost in my mind. But the CTS is RW drive and the DTS, while nice, is skewing to too 'old' a demographic for me. Besides, Caddy's just a bit too flashy and over the top for me, so..that puts me smack in the middle of Buick's target market.

      It's amazing, 2-3 years ago I'd never have considered Buick - I wasn't interested in the "Taurus" Lacrosse nor the older-looking LeSabre and Lucerne-old men drove those! But today, with the new Lacrosse, Regal and Enclave, there's 3 entries that I would strongly consider the next time I'm up to buy a car.

      Great job, and keep it up, Buick!
        • 3 Years Ago
        She loooves the Enclave, and I do too - very upscale and rich-looking.

        Any of the new Buicks would look great in my driveway.

        • 3 Years Ago
        BTW, what does your wife think of Enclave CUV?

        If that's your position in life, I'll bet she'd love one.

        Big, spacious, sexier than the boxes and trucks on the road.

        Nav, and rear-seat entertainment for the kids.

        Easy to drive, easy to live with.

        What's not to like?
        • 3 Years Ago
        Thought so, and who could blame her?

        Our friends have an Enclave, and she just loves it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      All these hep cats driving Buicks nowadays. Whippersnappers. Meh.
        • 3 Years Ago
        You drive a Lincoln, don't you...
      • 3 Years Ago
      I dunno. Do warm fuzzies really sell cars? Is someone going to check out a Buick because of this? I've got my doubts.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Remember when Infiniti first launched in the US, and it was all air and water, and they didn't even show the car?

        Or when Lexus showed the ball bearing running down the seams?

        Yeah, it's kinda like that, except GM actually shows the car.

        A little branding doesn't hurt to remind people what you're about, especially for a brand that's coming back from near death in the US.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I liked "the new class of world class" . Should have stuck with it
        • 3 Years Ago
        I also thought that the "New Class of World Class" slogan was very good and that they should have stuck with that. Bad move.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I think for once, all the product in the add is good enough to pique interest in the brand. The message is secondary.
      Kumail
      • 3 Years Ago
      I like it.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Kumail
        I preferred "The New Class of World Class." They should have kept that one too.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Kumail
        music for the commercial was provided by "Waverland" using their song "Dreamers"
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Kumail
        I've watched this a few more times, and the more I listen to it, the more I think Buick's mad men hit the nail perfectly square on the head.

        The voiceover is very gentle, warm and calm. There's not a hint of loudness, surprise or alarm anywhere in the spot. The background music is acoustic, accompanies, and stays in the background.

        Visuals are entirely youngish, active (30-something, 40-something), professional families doing family things. Large traditional 2-story home, trip to the beach & park, playing in a nice front yard - easily identifiable, and clearly the right center for upper middle class customer who an afford a Buick.

        The theme talks entirely to personal values, along with quality and luxury, but downhome and approachable. Things like legacy of "what matters", substance and happiness resonate with the older professionals, not just old fogies.

        The "what if" question is well-posed, as it really does want people to at least take a look where they haven't lately. Buick needs to conquest skeptical Lincoln, Acura, Lexus owners, and asking the question, rather than telling them is a better approach.

        The spot addresses the old stuff, very clearly and succinctly: "This isn't luxury as you've always known it", answering the "old man" criticism *and* the luxo-barge history, without delving into unnecessary details.

        "Your kind of luxury" does a good job of deliberately personalizing the brand, staying soft & warm, pushing modern and new, along with positioning as entry lux. Very good tagline.

        Overall, this is a really good spot, well targeted and well executed.

        And thankfully, the product should measure up. GM's been pushing NVH and driving dynamics, with good quality interiors. The recent push to pull trim level badging is also good, and consistent with where Buick wants to be.
        ____

        The "New Class of World Class" wasn't a bad tagline, but the problem is that they're not yet tapping on true "world class" competitors like Benz & BMW. The second problem is that Caddy is supposed to be "The Standard of the World", so it's kinda redundant for Buick to also be "world class". Finally, proclaiming to be "world class" simply isn't consistent with the personal and understated approach Buick takes. "Your kind of luxury" is a far superior tagline for Buick.


        • 3 Years Ago
        @Kumail
        Agree, this sounds like one of the better things I've seen GM do.

        I've been seeing quite a few Buicks around lately. Probably because they look good and turn my head finally. Good Job Buick!
      • 3 Years Ago
      I like the tagline, "Wouldn't you really rather drive a Buick" from the Sixties. I think it was perfect then and would be great now.
        • 3 Years Ago
        How about.. B.I.C.K. The only thing missing is you.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've gotta admit, that regal is one nice piece of metal.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Best Buick Germany ever built.
        • 3 Years Ago
        One of the best German sales rep's cars ever developed - regardless of where it's built.
        • 3 Years Ago
        There are three Buicks in that commercial. Only one is built in Germany and soon it will be built in Canada.
      • 3 Years Ago
      "This isn't luxury the way you've always known it." What, does he mean "good?"

      I appreciate the difficultly in trying to sell an entry-level luxury product, especially when even C-segment vehicles can now be optioned-up to make a '90s S class look like an econobox. Buick is going to get "Saabed" or "Volvoed", i.e. They're going to get lost in that "in-between" zone that has a loyal, but small, fan-base. Everyone else is just going save money and get a Chevy, or spend more and get a Cadillac.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The GS is really growing on me... It just needs some fogs...
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