Buick, it seems, has an ongoing identity crisis. Its cars have grown more stylish and now feature the latest in infotainment systems, but they’re still perceived as stodgy by the general public. While Buick has taken great strides to broaden its appeal, the average buyer is still well beyond the age of AARP admission.
To counter that, Buick is launching a new series of celebrity commercials to raise brand awareness and “drive greater consideration” among luxury sedan shoppers. The first features former NBA great Shaquille O’Neal, who praises the 2012 Buick LaCrosse for its interior room and its “oh effect,” meaning that people will notice Buick as it drives by.
For 2012, the Buick LaCrosse is available with either a 3.6-liter V-6 or a mild-hybrid 2.4-liter four, which O’Neal seems to be playing up in the video. Saying that, “I’ve got shoes bigger than most hybrids - more stylish, too,” the former NBA superstar seems pretty clear that he wouldn’t be caught dead in a Toyota Prius or Honda Insight.
Despite his apparent admiration for the brand, we’re not convinced that Shaq’s got a Buick LaCrosse parked in his garage, unless its reserved for the use of out-of-town guests. We like the Buick LaCrosse well enough for what it is, but we seriously doubt its got the prestige that former star athletes expect, “oh effect” or not.