Deutsch Launches Lancer Spot

LOS ANGELES Deutsch/LA’s last spot in the current campaign for the Mitsubishi Lancer breaks today. The agency said the strategy of selling Mitsubishi vehicles to different age groups will continue under its new CEO and co-chairman Finbarr O’Neill.

“This spot follows in a campaign that has shown the car as useful, urban and cool, broadening the appeal of the brand,” said Eric Hirshberg, managing partner and executive creative director at Deutsch/LA in Marina del Rey, Calif. “It’s fairly simple math. The Lancer appeals to two distinct age groups: those just out of college and to 45- to 50-year-olds, who also buy this segment. The judo flip that the ad does simultaneously appeals to both.”

The spot plays to the age-conscious car consumer, as Deutsch/LA does in a spot for the Mitsubishi Endeavor that cuts from tough-looking SUV exterior shots to a cozy interior of a happy family with kids watching a SpongeBob SquarePants cartoon. In the new ad, a sporty, bright yellow Lancer Ralliart with tinted windows rolls through an abandoned section of downtown Los Angeles until it comes upon a party of tough-looking “tuners” straight out of the movie series The Fast and the Furious.

The window rolls down to reveal a middle-age couple seeking directions. “Sorry to bother you,” asks the woman. “Do you know where the on-ramp is?” A voiceover says, “Introducing the new 2004 Lancers. More standard features than any other car in its class, and it starts under 14 grand,” and a barrage of type lists the various features.

Hirshberg said that under O’Neill, the campaign may “evolve in a different direction. But that’s further down the path of extending what’s good about the brand equity. Broadening the appeal is obviously prudent.”

Last year, Cypress, Calif.-based Mitsubishi Motors America spent about $50 million advertising the Lancer models alone, and approximately $30 million through August 2003, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.