Industry Viewpoint

Bob Sinclair, Director, membership sales and marketing at the AA

There’s one word to sum up the Daewoo TV advertisements – different. Think of typical car advertising and slick, big-budget productions come to mind. Whichever medium is used, and especially at motor shows, the images created are of speed, sophistication, style and success, and not infrequently, of sex.

But Daewoo’s ads don’t boast about performance, don’t linger over body lines and don’t encourage aspirations. Come to think of it, they don’t show you too much detail of the car at all. Instead, each ad delivers a tightly-scripted message with just the right seasoning of humour for the British palate.

Sink or swim, Daewoo has adopted a clear set of objectives and messages which its ad agency, Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters, delivers with professional simplicity.

It is no easy job to find new customers in an already overcrowded UK car market, particularly if you are completely unknown and Korean, with what appears to be an unpronounceable name.

We Brits are a resistant lot, and for years have been critical of cheap and basic cars, of the type imported from eastern Europe.

Yet Daewoo has embraced the concept that an unpretentious product can still offer good quality and value for money. And because it does not make its pitch to a specific market segment, this brand philosophy appeals to many with a common-sense approach to their car purchasing, whatever their demographic profile.

I have never before seen such commitment to customer feedback in car advertising, which in any case is extremely rare. But, of course, it’s essential to Daewoo, having taken the bold step to sell without a dealer network. If it plans to build its own distribution channel, consumer focus is its highest priority.

That is the second key message which comes across. Because Daewoo has no “hangers-on”, customers get a better, cheaper deal.

If I were Daewoo’s marketing director I’d certainly be very pleased with the job done by the agency in delivering clear brand messages distinctly and consistently. But do I like the ads? Yes, although they don’t excite me like the Volvo “tornado” film, and the catchphrase makes me squirm.

Once everyone has got the hang of pronouncing it “Dayoo”, perhaps they can cut out that irritating end-line; now that will be the day.

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