Crossover & Midsize

The Truth About the Buick in Big Little Lies

In the hit HBO series Big Little Lies, there is some very obvious product placement. We see cars ranging from the Toyota Prius, driven by Jane Chapman played by Shailene Woodley to the Jeep Wrangler driven by Bonnie Carlson played by Zoe Kravits. Laura Dern’s character Renata Klein drives a Tesla Model S. The most seen cars in the entire show, however, are the Buicks driven by Reese Witherspoon’s character Madeline Martha Mackenzie.

a scene when Madeline Mackenzie picks children up in her Buick Enclave in Big Little Lies
Buick Enclave in Big Little Lies | Observatory Agency

Who drives the Buick in Big Little Lies?

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The character Madeline Mackenzie from Big Little Lies is was seen driving a Buick Enclave in season one of the popular series. In season two, we see her in a Buick Enclave Avenir. The cinematography often shows actors and actresses having conversations in the cars. Dropping and picking up children is another common occurrence in which we get some bold Buick Brand visuals.

In fact, you really get to know this vehicle on a pretty up close and personal basis. But why? What is in it for Buick? Additionally, how much is the cost of this type of product placement.

The 2020's standard beige-colored cloth interior.
2020 Buick Enclave Interior | Buick

According to NewsWheel, Buick is a 116-year-old brand. Though the brand has “retained a loyal base of consumers for years” Buick wanted to target some younger buyers. Hence the product placement in Big Little Lies. They even partnered with the show’s social media marketing by spornsoring the Big Little Lies aftershow.

How much did Buick pay for the sponsorship?

According to Concave Brand Tracking, Buick is the second most present brand in the Big Little Lies HBO series. Second only to Apple. That’s gotta cost them quite a bit––especially once the show saw so much success. There have to be plenty of people out there wondering how much Buick paid for these appearances that account for nearly 5 minutes of screen time. Surely we are not the only ones curious.

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Observatory Agency reports on first season placement of the Buick Enclave. The entire first season saw the vehicle “receiving 24 distinct placements and over 9 minutes of total on-screen time, with impressions estimated at over 25 million.” That means that for the first season, Buick’s sponsorship is valued around 25 million. However, the second season continued to place the brand. Additionally, Buick hosted the aftershow. So, it’s not wild to assume that they were paying even more for their involvement in the second season.

What is the Buick in Big Little Lies?

In the first season, the Buick Enclave is featured as Madeline Mckenzie’s daily driver. This is a car that Buick advertises as an elegant and spacious family SUV. It works for her character in many ways, yet it does show Buick’s attempt to elevate the prestige of the brand. Being set in one of the most prestigious areas on the coast of California.

Is it really enough to represent the wealth and style of the Mackenzie family? Probably so. Most people would agree that her character is pretty believable. The interior and exterior shots of the car look pretty good. Worth $25 million? Only sales numbers will show the true value of Buick’s relationship with Big Little Lies.