The practice of bookmarking the most important page of a document is given the Saab treatment, with a bookmark for every spread of their latest range brochure.

‘Why constrain the power of nature’ the front cover asks, ‘When you can release it.’ As the brochure is opened a pre-wound butterfly springs off the page.

A new Saab 9-5 for just £19,995? With 3 years' free servicing? You might want to pinch yourself. A simple idea, tastefully executed. What’s more, it worked. The pack was directly responsible for selling over £25,000,000 worth of new cars. (Saab cars, just to be clear.)

As the years pass I’m finding it harder to explain exactly what is going on here. A succession of design classics shown in an unfamiliar ‘converted’ state. It made sense at the time, I’m sure. That I coined the term iconvertible to describe Saab’s famous soft-top is a matter of lasting shame.

A few more design classics as you’ve never seen them before. Or even wanted to.

A mailing from a body calling itself the ‘Swedish Aeronautical Aviation Bureau’. Inside is a flying permit and an invitation to fly something called the 9-3 SpSaAero. It’s a car, you see? The copy describes the 9-3’s attributes using language associated with aviation, while the payoff line is ‘not everything that flies has wings’. A nice pack to put together, although not everyone was convinced. Advertising bloke Derek Haas reviewed it in Campaign and declared 'This put me off buying a Saab’. Oh well.

In 2005 MG Rover ceased production. Competitor Vauxhall had somehow obtained a list of Rover owners and wanted to tell them that, if their reason for buying a Rover had anything to do with its Britishness (it hardly being a modern design), a Vauxhall Astra was the perfect alternative as it was built right here in the UK.

So we spot-glued a little Union flag to the brochure front cover and said, in a deliberately understated way, ‘Like you, we’re not beyond a little flag waving’. As well as highlighting the Astra’s levels of comfort (important for our slightly older demographic), the copy proudly announced that was built in L65 1AL, the postcode of Vauxhall’s Liverpool car plant.

Between each spread of this car brochure was a die-cut of guy’s face. You had to turn it over to read the copy…

…creating a physical manifestation of the automotive cliché about ‘turning heads’.

Not sure about the results of this campaign, but one of the packs turned up on eBay and raised well over £7 for the lucky owner.

I was part of the team at Ogilvy who put together Land Rover’s new website. My models (or nameplates, as I quickly learned they were called) included the Range Rover, Defender and the Range Rover Autobiography.

Over the years, Vauxhall had built up an extensive database of customers and prospects. But they knew very little about these people beyond a name and address. So the brief was to get to know a bit more about them so that they weren’t sent irrelevant ‘junk mail’. My approach was to come clean and tell the customer this was precisely why we wanted to know more about. By highlighting the possible consequences of NOT knowing anything about them, we were able to make a compelling case for the customer to return the reply card. The offer of a free telly probably helped, too.

The envelope carried the line ‘For one day only, image is everything’. Nice touch in the final paragraph, too. All tonally spot-on for Saab drivers, who never saw themselves as having to try too hard.

Encouraging membership renewal.

When the AA moved in to home emergency response, this seemed a natural way to convey the idea quickly and wittily.

Automotive

Type
Automotive