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Buick Counts on Rendezvous With Younger Buyer

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McCann-Erickson's creative work for Buick's new Rendezvous plays up the hybrid character of the vehicle, which the General Motors unit is counting on to lower its near-geriatric demographic.

McCann's TV spots broke last week and will run through the end of the year, said Jack Bowen, Rendezvous' brand manager.

Both spots feature Tiger Woods, who until now has only appeared in commercials for the Buick brand and not for specific models. The agency plans another shoot with Woods in the fall, and it's likely he will appear in other vehicle-specific spots, said McCann executive creative director Dave Moore.

The Rendezvous, which GM claims combines the ride a sedan and the ruggedness of an SUV, is Buick's first serious at tempt to reach a younger demographic. The average Buick buyer is currently over 60.

GM officials declined to discuss spending, but the automaker spent $40 million in 2000 launching the Pontiac Aztek, Rendezvous' sister vehicle, per Competitive Media Reporting.

The campaign includes five print ads that are light on copy, as well as outdoor, direct mail and Internet, Bowen said.

One spot is backed by Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein" and shows a Rendezvous bursting out of a castle amid lightning and shadow. It's driven by Woods, who asks ,"What? You were expecting Igor?"

A 60-second spot set to run in movie theaters has a funnel cloud sucking up a minivan, sedan and SUV as Billy Preston sings "Will It Go Round in Circles." When the dust settles, the occupants of the three vehicles are in the Rendezvous, with Woods in the driver's seat. He says, "I guess we're not in Kansas anymore," looking outside the vehicle at the mountain terrain.

Print runs in the July issues of Esquire, O, People, Golf and Money, among others. All ads carry Buick's new tagline, "It's all good."