The ads are running in prime time shows, they have people in suits standing around a car, talking about “Buick’s total value promise” – here is the transcription:

“Introducing the total value promise, from the award winning quality of Buick. I promise to stand behind your Buick, with our 4 year, 50,000 mile new vehicle warranty, and the serenity of a quiet tuned interior, I promise you the security of On-Star, Our 2006 LaCrosse has standard side curtain air bags, and V-6 power with an estimated 30 miles per gallon highway, the LaCrosse CX is under 22,600 after all applicable offers, see your Buick dealer – today.

Now of course, it has the car ad production feel- with a different talented actor for each line, and you see beauty shots of the car, but- is it talking about your new car- or theirs?
One of my favorite quotes in advertising comes to mind here:

“When people talk to themselves, it’s called insanity. When companies talk to themselves it’s called marketing.”
~Steve Bautista

Buick spent over $300,000 to produce this ad, and probably just as much to run it in ER- and it’s Buick - talking about what they think Buick is. How many people do you know will respond with “award winning quality” when you ask them what they think about Buick? Zero- and that’s probably even including Buick owners.
If there is a brand that absolutely has no persona, no cha-ching, no reason for being in the automotive category, it’s Buick- and its ads like this that get it there.
If there wasn’t a dealer pipeline to fill, and plants to run, Buick could go away tomorrow, and no one would miss them. A brand that hasn’t been relevant in a lifetime- except to old folks who still are reminiscing about a car company that hasn’t built a memorable car since, well, way back when.
Now GM is promising a “Total Value Promise” which means absolutely nothing- and bragging about a 50,000 mile/ 4 year warranty- has anyone looked at Hyundai lately (America’s Best warranty)? If you have such quality- go for the gusto and promise something more than a “quiet tuned interior.” To see the difference between an ad that means something and this drivel- see the post below about another GM division- one that gets it. This brand is dead.
For comparison- try to catch the ads for the New Passat from VW- talking about all the new features- demonstrating them to the customer- showcasing the little things that people fall in love with with a car- like hooks for hanging grocery bags in the trunk- all to a delightful diddy- “Thank you very much”- an ad that you want to watch again- and sing over and over in your head. When you visit the site- there is a mini-site that has some humorous little films like showing an elephant drop a log on command- which of course demonstrates a remote “trunk release.” Which do you think will sell more cars?

What do you think?

You can read about Buick’s follow up folly on Mark Silveira’s Ordinary Advertising blog