DETROIT--Call it the Fiesta Movement for grown-ups.
To help launch the 2011 Regal sedan, Buick will host a social media Web site with videos from buyers supplied with flip cameras, just like Ford's campaign for the youth-oriented Fiesta small car.
But the Regal site will feature reviews, not the playful commercials and local coming-out parties that characterize the Fiesta Movement. Buick will post all articles written about the Regal, even if they're unflattering, and visitors can post any comments they want, Buick's top marketer says.
The site, called "Buick's Moment of Truth," is part of the brand's efforts to remake its image--tarnished in some parts of the United States and nonexistent in others because of years of unappealing products and shrinking sales. Buick marketers' willingness to post bad press shows the brand is ready to take unusual risks to rebuild credibility.
When Buick tested marketing plans for the Regal, the candor behind "Moment of Truth" impressed consumers, says John Schwegman, U.S. marketing chief for Buick-GMC.
"It came across as a very positive thing to be that open and that transparent in an age that people are mad at bailouts, people are mad at big corporate America," Schwegman says. … Read more