‘6 Years In The Making’: Hadeler Roars Off With Suzuki Dealer Media Buying, Promotions

Hadeler Sullivan & Law here picked up some long sought after assignments from American Suzuki, gaining $3-4 million in promotions and media buying duties for 400 motorcycle dealers in the Western and Southern regions.
Agency president and client services director Michael Sullivan, himself a motorbike enthusiast, said the Suzuki courtship has been ongoing for more than five years. He said presentations and serious discussions were held in the past 12 months with the Brea, Calif.-based company.
“I started contacting Suzuki the week I started working [here],” said Sullivan. “This was six years in the making, with regular correspondence and calls out there.”
Hadeler Sullivan & Law’s duties will not initially include creative assignments, since work from national Suzuki shop Colby Effler & Partners in Santa Monica, Calif., is used in local markets.
The Dallas agency will place broadcast assignments for the dealers in 26 states on radio and television, with the bulk of TV going on cable networks TNN, ESPN and ESPN2. The major thrust of the effort will come this spring, during the peak motorcycle sales period.
Although the structure of marketing both Suzuki-only and multiple-line dealerships is similar to the auto industry, Sullivan said the unique challenge is with the demographics of motorcycle consumers.
“You’re competing for recreational dollars . . . you’re not competing for transportation dollars,” he said. “We’re looking for young guys, and girls in some cases, who have their transportation needs taken care of and are looking for a toy.”
Suzuki officials could not be reached for comment.
The account win is the first on record for HS&L since it changed from Hadeler Sullivan Ewing this month and reconfigured its departments into dedicated client teams.