Daewoo Readies National Push

Daewoo Motor America will launch its oft-deferred first national advertising campaign toward the end of the first quarter, backed by an estimated $20 million in support, according to company officials.
Bill Tucker, vice president of marketing and customer relations, said the effort will consist of national and regional TV spots, print and outdoor work. Though it still has no agency of record, Kenneth C. Smith Advertising’s San Francisco office handled the project. Executives there declined to comment, referring calls to the client.
The spots, which are still in development, will focus primarily on the flagship Leganza luxury sedan–the top of the Daewoo lineup. For 2000, the Compton, Calif.-based automaker is also featuring fresh versions of its other models, the Lanos and Nubira, and is adding the Korando sport utility vehicle, which was acquired when Daewoo purchased rival Korean automaker Ssanyong.
Daewoo has aired some regional advertising in the past, and even hired four ad agencies (Ground Zero, Marina del Rey, Calif.; Korey Kay & Partners, New York; Fletcher Martin, Atlanta; and The Leap Partnership, Chicago) about three years ago, but almost no work was ever commissioned from them. The automaker dropped those shops in favor of marketing through a series of factory-owned stores and college students hired to spread the word on campus. Tucker candidly admits that program didn’t work, so Daewoo is now aggressively pursuing a traditional franchise dealer approach to the U.S. market.
Currently, the automaker has 259 dealerships in 43 states.