“Find Your Own Road” Theme Captures True Saab Spirit

Posted on 19. Sep, 2007 by in 2000-2009

Here is an original press release illustrating the incredible effect that the “Find Your Own Road” advertising campaign did for Saab Cars USA in 1995. I urge you to take a look below.

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10/27/95

“FIND YOUR OWN ROAD” THEME CAPTURES TRUE SAAB SPIRIT

Saab’s Brand Campaign Based on Core Saab Values and Product Cues

NORCROSS, Ga. — While other automakers have been busy redefining themselves to capture new customer bases, Saab’s “Find Your Own Road” advertising campaign was designed to capture the very soul and essence of the 48-year-old Swedish automaker. The brand campaign, Saab Cars USA, Inc.’s most ambitious ever, focuses on the individualistic attitude that has defined Saab products and buyers since the first unique Saab 92 was unveiled in 1947. For 1996, the Find Your Own Road theme is being expanded to impact virtually every facet of operations, including such diverse applications as the Saab car window sticker (Monroney label), Saab’s national auto show exhibit, a complete line of clothing, an Internet website, a broad range of direct mail and brochures, even the lobby design of Saab’s U.S. headquarters.

More Than a Message – It’s An Attitude

David Krysiek, Saab Cars USA, Inc.’s director of marketing, considers the Find Your Own Road theme much more than a marketing message. “This campaign isn’t just a one-shot strategy, designed to target a specific group of potential buyers,” he explained. “The Find Your Own Road theme expresses the core of our products’ appeal, as well as the attitude of the individuals who buy them today — and who bought them yesterday.” Krysiek also emphasized that the theme is a long-term commitment, one that will continue to serve as a foundation for all Saab brand communications.

To-date, Saab’s Find Your Own Road campaign has more than proven its appeal by delivering a significant 66 percent increase in brand consideration, a 30 percent increase in brand awareness, and a 29 percent surge in consumer inquiries.

Animated Graphics. Spirited Colors Impact Every Area of Saab’s Business

Since they debuted in April 1995, the unique Find Your Own Road television and print spots broke new ground in automotive advertising. The all-animation first phase of the campaign was quickly followed by phase two advertising that incorporated specific product messages, such as print advertising that aggressively pointed out the popular Saab 900 Convertible was “Roomier than a Mercedes. Quicker than a BMW. Yes, Saab is odd all right.”

For late 1995 and throughout 1996, the Find Your Own Road theme is being integrated in the entire range of marketing communications, and will be an crucial part of a number of innovative applications. For example, all 1996 Saab 900 and 9000 models feature the automotive industry’s most colorful Monroney label. The window sticker is an attention-getter, featuring bright graphics, as well as dynamic colors.

The Find Your Own Road typeface — called Roughhouse — and animation graphics have also found their way into Saab’s national auto show exhibit. Lifesize characters from the advertising campaign’s television and print ads pop up throughout the exhibit, and the in-your-face colors and graphic elements of the campaign are brilliantly represented.

Saab has also integrated the theme into a number of innovative direct mail pieces, including a Virtual Reality Test Drive. Consumers who respond to the offer for the test drive through an 800 number, are automatically linked to an audio program which, through sound and script, takes the listener on a journey that features every car in the Saab 1996 new model line.

Visitors to Saab’s headquarters in Norcross, Georgia will know immediately that they have found their own road to the Swedish automaker’s U.S. sales and marketing organization. On permanent display in the visitor’s lobby is a mobile piece of art. It is a colorful 1995 Saab 9000 Aero, hand-painted with the original elements of the Find Your Own Road print ad, that a Saab employee team captained by president and CEO Jim Crumlish, campaigned in the grueling One Lap of America competition.

“Tvpical” Saab Owners Do Not Exist

By celebrating the spirit of individuality, Saab’s Find Your Own Road campaign has struck a familiar chord in both long-time and first-time Saab enthusiasts. While these owners do share certain traits — such as being the most highly-educated owner group (52 percent have post-graduate degrees) of any automaker — they cannot be categorized — with one exception. Virtually all Saab buyers have a strong passion for products that take a slightly different path from the mainstream. “In Saab,” said Krysiek, “buyers have discovered a product that’s as unapologetic about being unconventional as they are.” It is this unconventionality that has set both Saab cars and Saab buyers apart since the very beginning.

Saab Owners Have Found Their Own Road For Decades

During Saab’s early years in the U.S. market, owners would proudly wave and blink their headlights when they chanced upon a fellow aficionado of the “odd” yet astonishingly versatile Swedish cars. Today, with close to half a million Saabs on the nation’s roads, Saab owners encounter one another much more frequently, but the feeling of belonging to a special club remains.

The spirit and culture of Saab has been celebrated at owner gatherings since the early 1960s, when over a thousand Saab owners and nearly 600 early Saabs met at the company’s then-U.S. headquarters in New Haven, Connecticut. Families traveled from as far away as California and the eastern provinces of Canada to attend the 1963 Saab meet, and this tradition continues today with an annual National Saab Owners’ Convention. The 1995 gathering took place in Norcross, Georgia, the location of Saab Cars USA, Inc.’s U.S. headquarters, and the 1996 convention has been scheduled for San Francisco, California.

In addition to annual owner gatherings, a national and dozens of regional Saab clubs are a vital part of the thriving Saab culture. The oldest Saab club on record, the Saab Club-National Capitol area, celebrates its 35th anniversary in 1996, and the national organization, the Saab Club of North America, boasts over 4,000 dues-paying Saab enthusiast members.

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