Motor Trend + [turbo]

Auto Brand: BUICK

Buick Regal

2012 Buick Regal

In 2009, Buicks were typically driven by those with a walker in the backseat. Younger consumers wouldn’t even consider buying one.

We put the spotlight on the new, turbocharged 2012 Buick Regal to reintroduce a younger demographic to the brand in a way that inspired them to share their enthusiasm with their peers with a credibility that we couldn’t match.

Regal Remix and Tweet to Drive were consumer experiences that put Buick at the intersection of the consumer’s lifestyle in unexpected yet relevant places.

Once behind the wheel - inside Regal Remix events and on the road with Tweet to Drive - they shared their excitement with their peers in real-time and agreed on one thing in particular: this is not my grandfather’s Buick…I would drive this.

Within six months, the average age of the Buick buyer dropped from 72 to 61 and the brand jumped to No.8 on the list of auto brands’ "likeability" up from no.17.* Not only did Buick see an infusion of youthful fans saying: "I’d consider buying a Buick," but, throughout 2010, 114,000 actually bought one. Entering 2012, Buick was the fastest-growing car brand in America.

Buick, the oldest automotive brand in the U.S., was struggling. In 2009, the average Buick owner was 72.

New Buick Regal

Enter the 2012 Buick Regal, a sleek, turbocharged sedan and the freshest face in the brand’s revamped line. But how to engage a younger driver for whom Buick was not even in the consideration set? They simply didn’t see themselves in the driver’s seat, nor did they particularly want to.

The Regal had been off the market for six years. It had the baggage of the discontinued. We needed to evolve these perceptions, demonstrate relevance and rebuild the brand’s credibility.

- Lower average age of the Buick owner.
- Get younger consumers inside the new cars to engage with a refreshed brand.
- Secure social and non-traditional coverage to drive buzz.
- Help drive overall brand sales.

Research confirmed Buick lacked the creditability of its competitors. Even if the brand could connect with younger drivers, it had to overcome the perceived negative reactions they feared from their peers. The brand needed a program that would showcase the revamped line of cars while encouraging and driving peer-to-peer engagement.

We knew that we couldn’t convince them to consider Buick, but their peers could. We had to create experiences our target would consider meaningful and worthwhile, through initiatives that would allow Buick to break onto their radar - in a way it never had before.

Regal Remix and Tweet to Drive were anchors of our digitally-driven programming, designed to create instances that connected our target’s lifestyle with the brand in an unexpected yet relevant way.

Our programs would ultimately get them in front of, and even into a Buick with their peers by their side to share a newfound enthusiasm for the brand they thought they knew. Their mutual discovery would then cultivate an unspoken acceptance that brought Buick back into the fold.

Regal Remix

"Regal Remix" was the anti-car show. We unveiled the 2012 Buick Regal at six local market events (San Antonio, Dallas, Chicago, Boston, Miami and New York) that did away with the traditional showroom. Part private concert series with top name bands, part happy hour with local spirits and cuisine, our target and their peers experienced the revamped Buick line and found themselves together re-discovering a car they’d want to drive.

"Tweet to Drive" reengineered the traditional test drive. Orchestrated entirely through Twitter and launched in Chicago and Austin, the concept was simple: Tweet us (@drivebuickchi, @drivebuickatx) and our young, connected ambassadors would pick you up and put you behind the wheel for a cruise down the highway, a drive home from the airport or an afternoon taco run. Our target, who would otherwise never consider Buick, was surprised at what they saw - and was Tweeting about their experience.

Buick jumped to No.8 on the list of auto brands’ "likeability" up from No.17. Buick’s social media channels saw an infusion of youthful fans saying: "I’d consider buying a Buick." Throughout 2010, 114,000 did buy one, making Buick the fastest-growing car brand in America.

Overview: 2012 Buick Regal