Buick last week introduced another commercial that tries to convince people that its vehicles aren't made for the blue-haired set. But this time it enlisted the help of a few blue-hairs.
The 30-second spot, broadcast during the NCAA men's basketball tournament, features all five vehicles in Buick's lineup. A valet runs through a parking lot looking for a Buick without noticing a LaCrosse right under his nose. A young woman stands on the street craning her neck for the Buick that's supposed to pick her up, but she doesn't see the shiny Encore parked right in front of her.
And in a bit of self-deprecating irony that takes on Buick's old-person image head-on, a granny exclaims to her grandson about the hot red Buick Regal in her driveway: "Sure doesn't look like a Buick!"
Her elderly neighbor yells from across the street: "That's not a Buick!"
The commercial, by Leo Burnett, ends with the tag line: "Five expectation-shattering models."
Buick marketing chief Tony DiSalle acknowledges that the brand's "perception gap" -- a marketing guy would never say "image problem" -- won't die easily: "We know that consumers' perception takes a long time to change."