AdSpotting: Buick using March Madness to sell Regal Turbo

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.

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