In June, Saturn started a new marketing campaign inviting people to a local Saturn dealer to test drive the Saturn Aura and two dominant segment competitors, the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord. As part of their "Rethink American" campaign it is a bold, confident move, pitting the Aura against the automotive industries equivalent of Goliath.
I have to admit that I wasn’t sure about this campaign. I thought all Saturn was going to do was give Aura shoppers an easy opportunity to check out the competition and not attract true Camry and Accord shoppers.
Compete measures automotive demand on a monthly basis and in June and July the Aura has reach all time high shopping levels in a market and a segment that is down year over year.
But has Saturn been able to attract Camry and Accord shoppers to consider the Aura? The Compete cross shop data says yes! The chart below shows the percent of Camry and Accord shoppers cross shopping the Aura and it has been climbing through the year.
In contrast, the percent of Aura shoppers also shopping a Camry or Accord dropped in June to the lowest percent this year. Could it be that in June they went directly to the showroom to compare these vehicles?
The test drive campaign seems to have focused Aura shoppers on their product and increased consideration from these two key competitors. Those are two things that would make any marketing team happy.