Buick is counting on March Madness excitement to launch its Encore small crossover.
For the third straight year, Buick is an official NCAA partner and will heavily promote its new Korean-built Encore throughout telecasts of the 68-team college basketball championship tournament that starts this week.
"We love March Madness because viewer engagement is so high," said Tony DiSalle, vice president of Buick marketing. "Advertising that taps that kind of passion usually translates into higher consideration and purchase intent rates than for regular programming."
Buick will try to sell its new entry as a luxurious small vehicle nimble enough to drive and park in crowded metropolitan areas. The five-passenger Encore, positioned below the larger Enclave crossover, is 19 inches shorter and 3 inches narrower than the Chevrolet Equinox.
A 30-second TV spot for the Encore shows it maneuvering around animated dinosaurs. That spot, developed by ad agency Leo Burnett, will be in heavy rotation with other Buick commercials on ESPN, TRUtv, TBS, TNT and CBS tournament telecasts leading up to the championship game on April 8 in Atlanta.
Buick has a series of other multimedia March Madness tie-ins, including Sirius XM satellite radio spots, print ads in Sports Illustrated, the purchase of search-engine words and a presence on social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.