Cadillac commercials were hot, and spots for the Saturn Vue were not, according to survey results from CNW Marketing/Research.
The week of April 1, CNW surveyed 400 people ages 25 through 60 who plan to buy a vehicle within three months.
The company asked them to score 46 TV spots, which had run the previous three to four months, by answering the question: How has this commercial impacted your opinion of the brand?
Consumers rated the latest Mercedes-Benz SL 500 commercial their favorite, with a score of 9.6 out of a possible 10.
The spot travels through time to the tune of "Unchained Melody." In it, a woman drives several generations of the SL, from the 1960s to the present.
"The purpose here is to get a sense of likability of the characters in the ads and what that does to the likability of the company and products it offers," said Art Spinella, general manager of CNW in Bandon, Ore.
"Mercedes did something different: they reconnected with their own heritage," Spinella said.
"They had been trying to be hip and aim at a younger audience, which is good, but they've been losing some of their appeal among historic buyers."
Mercedes' ad agency, Merkley Newman Harty in New York, created the spot as part of its "Unlike any other" campaign.
Cadillac also fared well with two commercials for the CTS sports sedan, scoring 9.1 and 8.7.
"Using Led Zeppelin ended up being dramatic for them," Spinella said. "When we broke down 'What do you like?' Led Zeppelin ended up with a 9.5 among all age groups."
Cadillac's ad agency is D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in Troy, Mich.