Mar 30, 2010

Architecture is Great for Selling Cars

I noticed this Sprint ad shot inside Steven Holl's addition to the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, which the Wall Street Journal also reported on a few weeks ago. This was the best public building I visited in the past decade as a reporter, really an amazing experience to walk through. Cadillac is also using the new Cooper Union building by Thom Mayne in one of its spots for the CTS, as Arch Newpaper's excellent reporter Matt Chaban also noted in February. (I also just stumbled on this 2006 CTS ad that aired in Europe featuring all kinds of Calatrava, I believe.) Mercedes is also using Ben van Berkel's fantastic Mercedes museum in Stuttgart for its E-Class commercials--the museum has a great descending corkscrew progression that recounts the industrial, social, and political history of the past century in a really compelling way and then lands you in a Mercedes dealership. This spot for the Buick LaCrosse also struck a chord with me recently.

It's shot in downtown Chicago and has been out since last fall, but I didn't notice it until recently, and I couldn't help identifying with the Buick brand. Although GM demolished its Buick City complex in Flint years ago, I felt cheered by this really well-designed GM car that's killing in the affordable luxury sedan category. Apparently the LaCrosse is doing especially well in China, where Buick is a prestigious luxury brand, according to this great review in the LA Times last August, and was co-designed by GM's studio in China. It's the favored brand of chauffeur-driven business executive-class as a status symbol, and for its ample leg room in back. I wonder who benefits from GM doing well in China--they still make lots of parts in Flint anyway, and there's one truck assembly plant left--maybe GM pensioners, stockholders (or is just bondholders now that the company is in Chapter 11?), and we taxpayers who own a share of the company now? -STEPHEN ZACKS

No comments:

Post a Comment