Saturn Markets via Mail

DETROIT Saturn has launched direct mail and e-mail campaigns for its 2007 models of the Aura sedan, the Vue Green Line hybrid SUV and the Outlook SUV.

The campaign, via Carlson Marketing Group, Minneapolis, has the challenge of promoting vehicles with decidedly different audiences.

“We’re trying to capture the essence of each vehicle and the brand itself, and its revitalization,” said David Carmichael, creative director for the Saturn account at Carlson. “For the Aura, for example, we try to capture the refinement and the styling attributes. It looks like a cool, jazzy bar.”

The Vue Green Line, which Saturn is touting as the lowest priced among SUV hybrids, is being directed at environmentally minded urban buyers with high income and no kids.

The Outlook tilts to families in the midsize SUV segment who refuse to bow to the minivan.

The mailings, which will continue through the end of the year, use leads from Saturn events and dealer drop-ins, where interested consumers are asked to fill out cards. So far, 300,000 direct mail pieces and even more e-mails have been sent out.

All of the correspondence will use the “Like always, like never before” tagline that Saturn has used to define the comeback of the brand since the campaign began in the spring. The snail-mail material is made to look like a coffee table book in the form of large, colorful mailers.

The mailings are another phase of the ad campaign that began in the spring shortly after the New York International Auto Show, where Saturn debuted the new models.

In the broad campaign developed by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, Saturn uses the “Like always . . . ” tag to market all of the models rather than break out each unit, in order to keep the brand cohesive.

“These mailings need to have the same look and feel to make sure we are coming from the same place as Goodby,” Carmichael said. “We don’t want anyone to see a major difference, such as different typefaces or the way shots are positioned. We want that continuity.”

Saturn sales this year show a drop of 1 percent from last year through June, pacing to sell approximately 200,000 units.

Saturn spent $1,012 on advertising per vehicle sold last year, per TNS Media Intelligence, over twice as much as Honda and Toyota.