Tiger Woods De-Geritols Buick Enclave. Why Bother?

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

The Detroit News reports that golfing phenom Tiger Woods is set to tackle Buick's one foot in the grave image. In a new series of ads, Woods waxes eloquent about driving his Lambda gimme– despite the fact that it's made by a brand that's more Geritol than Gen X. Or Y. "Growing up I thought it was for my mom and my dad and that generation and certainly not for someone in their 20s and 30s." But now that Tiger's a husband and father, he "appreciates the Enclave's safety features" and how easy it is to stuff his family, pets and golf clubs into the Tahoe-sized CUV. The multimillionaire also likes his $40k mom-mobile's style. "The Enclave looks cool– you feel like this car was specifically made for you." I'm sure it was. Hey! How about lending it to one of those potential Enclave buyers who can't get their hands on the crossover (before they cross over) because GM screwed-up the parts supply? And if the Enclave is already hot, and GM can't meet existing demand, why pay Mr. Woods to turn-up the heat? Someone needs to tell GM's marketing minions that timing is. Everything.

Frank Williams
Frank Williams

More by Frank Williams

Join the conversation
4 of 18 comments
  • Storminvormin Storminvormin on Jan 23, 2008
    "A wise man once said, celebrity endorsements are the life's blood of useless crap." -Stolen from Jalopnik Seriously though, aren't there enough people that understand the economics of celebrity endorsement so as to make it ineffective and expensive?
  • Qusus Qusus on Jan 23, 2008

    guyincognito, Oh ok thank god. Because it was either a funny spoof or you were hanging out with the dorkiest group of 20-somethings ever. Glad it's the former. But hey, my mom loves him and that's probably the crowd Buick is going for anyways.

  • KixStart KixStart on Jan 23, 2008

    storminvormin: "Seriously though, aren’t there enough people that understand the economics of celebrity endorsement...?" Tiger Woods does; to the tune of $60 million! I couldn't find complete information but presuming TW has a 10-year contract with Buick ('00-'09) for $60 million, and that Buick sales were ~450,000 in '00 and '01 (the two years for which I couldn't readily get figures; '03 was ~430,000) and that Buick holds the line at ~200K for the next two years (no more declines), every Buick purchaser is essentially paying a fee to TW of about $20! Well... it's less than the rebates but $20 per car (plus the airtime) seems like rather a lot of money. Perhaps they should blame the sales decrease on TW and move on to a new celebrity. I'm available and I'm much less expensive than TW.

  • Geotpf Geotpf on Jan 23, 2008

    KixStart: Yearly sales figures are available as far back as 1998 at http://media.gm.com/us/gm/en/news/press/release_list.jsp Click on January, then hunt around for the press release showing the yearly (and monthly) sales figures for the prior two years. The press releases go back as far as Jan. 2000 (which has 1998's and 1999's sales). Buick's sales by calandar year: 1998: 398,156 1999: 445,611 2000: 404,612 2001: 405,678 2002: 432,017 2003: 336,788 2004: 309,639 2005: 282,288 2006: 240,657 2007: 185,791 I expect sales to be even lower in 2008 (even with the Enclave). One of the main problems here is they are shrinking the number of models offered. For model year 2005, Buick had seven models. For model year 2008, Buick has three models. No matter how well the Enclave sells, it won't sell as well as the three models it replaced (Rendezvous, Rainer, Terraza) combined. Also, all the old names are gone. If some guy buys a new Buick Century every four years goes into a Buick dealer and doesn't see any Centurys for sale (or Regals or Le Sabres or Park Avenues), only things called the Lucerne and the LaCrosse, he might just go to the Toyota dealer across the street and buy an Avalon. The name changes turned automatic, repeat sales into "maybes". This is the reason Toyota has made Corollas and Camrys and Honda has made Civics and Accords since the dawn of time. Of course, none of this has to do with Tiger Woods. He has neither helped nor hurt the brand, other than subtracting his salary from GM's bank account.