Ellie Kemper Imagines Herself in a New Buick

By Erik Oster 

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Ellie Kemper brings that character’s brand of dorky humor to a new Buick campaign from DigitasLBi.

The full-length “Imagine Yourself in the New Buick” opens with a man passing by Kemper admiring new Buick Cascada convertible. When the gentleman tells her she looks like she could be the brand’s spokesperson, Kemper musters up her best “deep gravely voice,” hops in the vehicle (over the locked door) and imagines what it would be like to be the “spokesperson for a luxury car brand.” Her fantasy begins with her driving the Buick Regal before discussing Buick vehicles with a designer. From there it gets more and more ridiculous, ending with Kemper “the face of Buick mothers everywhere and their beautiful Buick families,” with a car full of her red-haired daughters. While not without its funny moments, mostly thanks to Kemper’s delivery, the ad drags on for over three minutes, risking losing its audience along the way. The 30-second spots in the campaign, meanwhile, mostly miss the mark, alternately lifting weaker moments from the full-length spot and spending too much time on specific vehicle features.  

Kemper’s participation in the campaign comes as the brand is trying to “attract a younger audience that may associate the Buick brand to that of the past, not realizing the amazing car right in front of them may actually be a new Buick,”  Molly Peck, the brand’s director of marketing, told Adweek

“Buick has an exciting new lineup, and the challenge brought to us was how to show it off,” added Steve Baker, associate creative director at DigitasLBi, tells Adweek. “We wanted to find a natural way to do that and thought a spokesperson was a perfect way to bring someone in and out of the vehicles, while exploring some great features. All we needed was a face.” 


“The thing about quirky-dorky is this: It’s honest,” he added. “And with honesty comes trust. That trust gets people nodding along [whether you’re] exploring a vehicle and imaging what life could be like with you in it, or even imagining what your future family would look like. When you can relate to a brand in a human way, it helps change your perception. And that was exactly what we were trying to do.”


Client: Buick
Agency: DigitasLBi
Chief Creative Officer: Ronald Ng
EVP, Managing Director: Robert Guay
EVP, Executive Creative Director: Rob Rizzo
SVP, Group Creative Director: Patrick McHugh
VP, Group Creative Director: Mark Chamberlain
Associate Creative Director: Steven Baker
Senior Copywriter: Graham Shepherd
VP, Executive Producer: Ben Raynes
SVP, Group Account Director: Brian McCallum
VP, Group Account Director: Yanlin Sun

Production Company: Community Films
Director: Seth Gordon

Editorial Company: Cutters Studio
Editor: Grant Gustafson

Mix: Heard City