Goodby’s First Saturn Ads for Sales Event, Not Ion

Goodby, Silverstein & Partners’ first work on its recently secured Saturn account will not be for the forthcoming Ion coupe, but for a spring sales event, sources said. Three TV spots for that effort are due out in a week or two, sources said.

The quick transition of the account from Saturn’s former agency, Publicis & Hal Riney, to Goodby changed the automaker’s plans and abruptly shifted its schedule, sources said.

Details have not been finalized, but Goodby’s working tagline for the automaker is, “It’s different in a Saturn.” That line will likely be unveiled in the sales-event push. However, sources said the tag has not been approved by the client and is subject to change.

Sources said early indications are that the spots will stick with the approach crafted by Riney throughout its time on the business, touting the car maker’s core values of honesty and integrity.

The ads were shot in New Jersey. According to sources, they feature a dealer talking to a customer and revealing more and more about himself—until things get a little too per sonal. The scene then segues into an announcement of Saturn’s “Maybe a Little Too Honest and Straightforward Spring Sales Event,” sources said.

Executives at the agency and client could not be reached for comment about the upcoming work or the proposed tagline.

Goodby won the Saturn account in February. Riney had handled the business for more than a decade, creating advertising under the tagline, “A different kind of company. A different kind of car.” Goodby was first awarded the Ion launch as a stand-alone assignment, but was subsequently given the entire business.

At Goodby, creative director Jamie Barrett heads up Saturn work along with agency principals Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein [Adweek, March 4]. In his new role, the former Fallon executive is supervising four or five creative teams.