Saturn Discovers Social Networking, Attempts To Join 21st Century

Illustration for article titled Saturn Discovers Social Networking, Attempts To Join 21st Century

Apparently young people these days like to talk to each other online rather than read. Sometimes, they even take advantage of toy-like technological innovations to transmit electronic images and even music! Based on this cutting edge research, Saturn has launched a new concept in online communication to reach these digital girls and boys in the 21st Century. Called ImSaturn, it provides an online "space" Saturn owners can call their own — a place that let's them say "why yes, this is my space."


Since it's launch on April 7th, ImSaturn has seen membership grow to a positively staggering 1,524. That's a huge number of devotees to Saturnalia — it's almost equivalent to 3% of the people who've purchased a Saturn so far this year. And why shouldn't they all be excited? Members get to be wowed with such exciting and amazing features like — press releases and groups organized by Saturn model. Who wouldn't be excited to chat and share stories with other proud owners of the now-defunct Saturn Relay minivan?

But, the online community does take steps to ensure members feel like they play an active role in the company. For instance, when ImSaturn member Rick Murphy 'posted' concerns about a delay in the delivery of his new Astra, company reps like Steve Janisse are there to squash the negative publicity reassure concerned customers by posting a quick response saying,

"So sorry for the long delays...but all of your cars have either already been shipped or will be shipped today. We'll give your retailers an update. If anyone else is looking for their Astra, please let me know."

According to the New York Times, which has breathlessly covered the exciting news, Saturn has a wild side. Apparently — bear with us, we're so excited we can hardly type — the company's planning a contest dubbed "kissmyastra." The contest not only acknowledges people in the 18-34 demographic heart the lower case, but also people who find themselves caught in embarrassing situations with their cars. The contest promises big prizes for people caught with their Astra in the most passionate of positions.

All joking aside, it appears that Saturn's greatest problem may be basic brand and product awareness among the general public, not amongst their own customers. Troy Clarke, President of GM North America described the problem to Automotive News,

"If you look at the purchase funnel, you ask, "Do we have a consideration problem on Saturn or a conversion problem?' The fact of the matter is we have a basic awareness problem."

Sounds like some kind of failure to communicate. Maybe if he were to write everything in lower case without use of the space bar, it would get through.


Jeff Glucker

This social network is fierce!