Saab Cars North America has launched a social media effort within Facebook, which the company says is designed to "tap into the passion and enthusiasm that Saab fans and owners, present and past, feel for the brand."
The program, which extends its "Story of Saab" campaign that launched in January, lets consumers write and star in their own Saab Web banners using a template that mirrors the look and feel of "The Story of Saab" online and print creative. The company says they can then post to their Facebook wall and share with friends. Saab will choose a selection of the consumer-generated banners to run on an array of Web sites that could include AOL, MSN, the websites of The New York Times and Wired, among others, in late March. Saab was purchased from GM by entrepreneur Victor Muller, CEO Spyker Cars N.V., last year.
"The Story of Saab" was created by McCann Worldgroup Detroit's Team Saab for the U.S. market. The agency group has the responsibility for creating the global launch campaign for the company's next product, the 9-4X. Team Saab also partnered with iWerk, a Royal Oak, Mich.-based software development company, to create the Facebook technology.
Said Jennifer Swantek, VP and account director at McCann Worldgroup Team Saab, in a statement: "As we were working to re-launch the brand, we knew it would be important to find ways to leverage Saab's loyal fan base. People want to share their passion for the Saab brand. They just needed an outlet. Now, through Facebook, we can give our enthusiasts that voice."
The automaker has a long way to go from its heyday in 1986 when it sold 50,000 cars. The company, which says it wants to sell 20,000 cars this year in the U.S., only sold 5,445 vehicles in 2010 here. The company sold 658 Saabs in the U.S. in January, which is up from the 511 sold in the same month last year.
This month, the automaker, which is launching four vehicles this year, hired James Sweeting to be its executive national sales director.