|JAMIE LAREAU | Automotive News
Posted Date: 11/17/05
WASHINGTON -- Buick will focus its national advertising and nearly one-fourth of its budget on the new Lucerne sedan in the first quarter of 2006.
The Lucerne is a "very big part" of Buick's advertising budget for next year, Steve Shannon, Buick general manager, told Automotive News at a press event here.
Buick will spend well over 20 percent of its first-quarter advertising budget promoting the Lucerne, Shannon says.
That's about $9 million, based on this year's figures. Buick spent nearly $46 million on advertising in the first quarter of this year, up 48.8 percent from $30.8 million spent in the year-ago period, according to TNS Media Intelligence. Buick spent $122 million in advertising for all of 2004.
Buick began shipping the Lucerne to dealers on Oct. 29, Shannon says. The national advertising campaign starts at the end of this month, he says.
"Next year, we'll focus most of our national advertising weight on the Lucerne," Shannon says.
Buick also will consider advertising the Lucerne during "big name" events, Shannon says. He would not specify which events the brand might sponsor. He says it probably will not be the Super Bowl, where Cadillac traditionally advertises.
Shannon said that Buick has "something exciting planned in the first quarter involving this car and Tiger Woods."
The advertising mix includes traditional TV spots, a lot of print and a shift to more promotion-oriented marketing, Shannon says. "You've got to get people in the car," he adds. "The Tiger Woods thing will get people in this car."
The advertising will spell out the Lucerne's features, such as heated windshield-washer fluid that melts ice, dual-stage driver airbag, quiet interior, standard OnStar and a four-year/50,000-mile warranty. The Lucerne is part of GM's value pricing strategy starting at $26,990, including shipping.
Last month, GM told dealers it is changing the Buick tag line from "Dream Up" to "Beyond Precision" to emphasize Buick's quality and product features