Buick Ad Gets Kudos From Brand That Knows Marketing: Coke – Forbes

Posted: Thursday, July 31, 2014

Buick has been General Motors’ General Motors’ growth engine lately, and savvy marketers in another industry think they know something about how Buick got there: effective advertising.

Sandy Douglas was recently appointed to turn around Coca-Cola’s Coca-Cola’s fortunes in the U.S. market, and reportedly he’s looking in part to Buick for inspiration about how to do it. He’s said to be “admiring” the Buick campaign in which people overlook a new Buick that’s right in front of them because that fantastic new vehicle couldn’t possibly be a Buick — at least as they remember the brand and its vehicles.

Coke always has been one of the world’s most effective marketers, but Douglas told Businessweek in the magazine’s cover story about Coca-Cola this week he believes the Buick advertising tack has represented an effective prong in GM’s re-creation of the brand. His company needs something similar as Coke battles slumping U.S. and even global soda sales and an increasing villain’s role in the worldwide battle against obesity.

“I don’t want to compare Coke to Buick or something,” Douglas told the magazine, “but [GM] is completely relaunching Buick right now.”

Certainly something is going right for Buick these days. The brand led its stablemates at GM with a 12-percent year-over-year sales increase for the first half of 2014, including an 18-percent surge in June.  Sales of the GMC brand, which is “dualed” with Buick in most U.S. dealerships, have fared second-best so far this year, up 5 percent, while Chevrolet sales were off by 1 percent and Cadillac sales declined by nearly 5 percent.

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