By Elizabeth Banquer
For the 51st Super Bowl the car company Buick released a commercial for their “That’s a Buick?” campaign. This commercial features Panther’s quarterback Cam Newton.
The commercial shows a PeeWee football game; a classic American symbol. A new Buick model is shown which causes an actor in the commercial to say “That’s a Buick? If that’s a Buick then my son is Cam Newton”, and then his son turns into quarterback Cam Newton. Then later on in the commercial another character sees another new Buick, and says “If that’s a Buick then I’m Miranda Kerr”, and then proceeds to turn into supermodel Miranda Kerr.
This commercial is the newest in Buick’s “That’s a Buick?” campaign. This campaign is a series of commercials where the new models of Buicks are shown, and characters are unable to believe that these nice cars are actually Buicks.
Buick’s new models are sleek and unlike their old models, and these commercials help viewers and consumers become aware of the cars. Since the commercials began in 2014 the company has soared. Sales have rose 12 percent for Buick, and continue to rise as each new commercial is released.
“This is the second consecutive year that Buick has decided to spend big bucks to advertise during the Super Bowl. It now costs, on average, about $5 million for a 30-second ad during the Super Bowl, according to widely published media reports”, writes Detroit Free Press. This commercial
One of the many reasons this commercial was so successful was the celebrity appearances. The Superbowl is still a sensitive topic for Newton because of last year’s tough loss against the Broncos, but that did not stop him from endorsing Buick.
Buick’s message with these new commercials is to let consumers know that their company has changed and adapted for the better. Buick uses semiotics to show that their new models are so sleep and sophisticated that the public cannot believe it. This brought the “That’s a Buick?” campaign. Buick wants to bring awareness to their new models to make people want to buy them.
Though after reading the comments on Automobilemag.com consumers are still skeptical of Buick’s new cars. Responses say that even though Buick is trying very hard with their campaign, the younger generation will always consider Buick to be an older generation car company. But Buick’s number’s have increased significantly since the commercials began, so the campaign is successful to some extent.
Buick’s psychoanalysis in this commercial is to bring feelings of disbelief to the viewers. They want consumers to be shocked at the sight of their new models, to raise awareness about them so consumers will buy them. Since Buick includes celebrities in their commercials they also make viewers want to feel included; since celebrities use and endorse these products, consumers will want to as well.
This particular commercial is aimed towards male consumers. The commercial includes football the most quintessential male American sport. As well as including supermodel Miranda Kerr. The company claims that they have the most all-american car, so their commercials have to reflect this message. The political economy of the Buick advertisement includes various symbols of classic America, including even the patriotic colors of the flag in the blue and white football uniforms to the red Buick shown.
Each year Buick spends more and more on their advertisements each year, and for the 2017 Super Bowl they spent a record price of over 5 million dollars. The company released the ad 5 days before the Super Bowl to get even more air time and awareness. “Releasing the ad early ‘gives us a longer time span to engage consumers, and I believe it’s a better return on our investment,’ said Molly Peck, Buick’s director of marketing, adding that the company wanted to match the interest it generated last year for being a first-time advertiser. The Super Bowl is still a rare opportunity for companies to reach more than 100 million viewers on a day that ‘people really want to see the ads, they’re not skipping over them, they’re watching them in real time and engaged,’ she said.” From a post in the New York Times by Sapna Maheshwari.
Overall, the commercial raised consumer awareness and interest in Buick’s new models. The format and presentation of the advertisement was successful in presenting the product in a positive and interesting manner. The humorous idea that consumers are unable to recognize Buick’s new models makes the campaign slogan “Some people just can’t believe its a Buick”, a true success in the automotive industry.