Saab A & jet fighter for the road& or just a Swedish …

14 Июн 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Saab A & jet fighter for the road& or just a Swedish … отключены
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Saab: A jet fighter for the road or just a Swedish saloon?

Where do we begin?

SAAB- An individual in a sea of grey, with a challenging story to summarise in one blog post. The Swedish brand developed from aircraft production in 1947; since having a different outlook on what a car should be. The brand tried to challenge the German and Japanese norm, offering customers a special car which was like nothing else to own.

As a result, the car was consistently portrayed as having jet fighter characteristics. True to some extent, but yesteryear saw some products almost turning into aircraft:

What s in a message?

According to the online business dictionary, an advertising message is that of an advert or commercial that attempts to convey what the advertiser intends through words and/or pictures .

The marketing men in SAAB never presented a dull advert. Alex Robbins of Auto Trader took an in-depth look at the 9000 model and concluded that it was not so much that everyone loved the car per say, as admirable as it was, but because they loved the way in which it was being presented.

The main messages which these quirky campaigns have aimed to portray include the obvious link to aircraft aerodynamics, spirited performance and Scandinavian design, all portrayed to be something different than the traditional competitor offering.

An excellent example is the infamous 9000 saloon advert of the late 1980s, with the dedicated SAAB performance team testing the car s chassis to its limits- delivering a point of difference and practical demonstration of the car s capabilities direct to the viewer:

Sensible vs. Sweden

The messages portrayed are clear- buy a SAAB and break from the norm. However, aside from the exterior elements portrayed by the adverts, interior references were consistently designed to reflect the heritage of the company; the shape of the orthopaedic seats, driver-oriented dashboard, nightpanel function, cup holder design to name but a few. The most evident interior reference however, was you. You as a person to SAAB were as important as a bond between mother and child. Anything SAAB could do to protect you from the dangers of the outside world would be built into their cars; no expense spared.

This alone helped to increase customer loyalty to, at one point, a level only second to Mercedes-Benz.

SAAB vs. scepticism

Having all these ideas may be thinking ahead and toward the future of design, but surely the scepticism faced by SAAB models from potential consumers is something that an advertising campaign has to address. So, for example, if a consumer asks the question of a large multi-purpose vehicle as to whether it is practical, the answer would be to show a demonstration of how the car benefits family life. Vauxhall did just this with their Zafira; showing clever adverts in family situations and the practicality offered through their seating system.

SAAB recognised this perspective and, in the 1990s, addressed it with a whole range of poster adverts delivering quirky messages with the theme of SAAB vs. a car feature or worldly phenomenon. Below are a few examples of their really rather clever efforts:

Crash test dummies can be wired to show how a human body responds in an accident. But they can’t think. They can’t tell us things that only a human driver can.

That’s why, in addition to performing over 40 laboratory crash tests, Saab engineers get out into the world. They have investigated 5,000 accidents, often interviewing the drivers to see how the car responded. In developing the Saab 9-5, safety focused on prevention and protection where it counts most: On the road.

That’s real-life intelligence.

An opening in traffic appears ahead. Your brain signals your foot. Your foot depresses the accelerator. But how quickly will your car respond?

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If you’ve chosen to drive a Saab 9-3 turbo, your car has one of the most advanced turbocharged systems in the world. It will produce maximum torque, or pulling power, at significantly lower rpm. Acceleration on demand.

Your brain sends a message to your adrenal glands telling them they can relax now.

Call it the ‘phoenix’ school of thought. The notion that beofre designing something, its precursors must first be reduced to ashes. Nothing could be further from the way we approach things at Saab.

Since 1947, we have shunned revolution in favour of evolution, building on the same aircraft inspired principles embodied in our very first car. A synthesis of safety and performance. And a very Scandinavian devotion to functional, aesthetically pleasing design.

To our mind, qualities worth keeping.

Aircraft inspired or just marketing spiel?

The era of the 1990s saw SAAB lose its way a little, and initial investment from American company, General Motors, gave a new lease of life. However, its adverts never quite had the same appeal in terms of being a bit left-field. In 2010, however, when times were tough and cash was a rarity, SAAB pushed its latest campaign for its new 9-5 model to the world to show it could regain its position as a worthy competitor in the executive saloon market.

However, maybe it could be argued, there were fewer aircraft references here as the message focus depicted form, function, simplicity and technology as the most advanced car SAAB had ever built. However, the sad fact ensued that the car was not ready for production and ended in disappointing sales and customer relationship management.

An interesting note on which to bring this trip through heritage to a close. SAAB in its modern sense closed its manufacturing Swedish doors over two years ago. The main reasoning due to cash flow problems stemming from an old product range and lack of brand interest by General Motors.

However, as this is written, Chinese owner NEVS (National Electric Vehicle Sweden) is reviving the company, ploughing Chinese investment into new models and engine technology. Funny isn t it?- it seems that a brand originally building fighter planes for world wars in a context associated with the sad reality of … and suffering, has been resurrected from the earth and given an oxygen mask to once again build a modern jet fighter for the road .

No copyright infringement of any previous Saab material is intended.

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