Envy and Desire Fuel Deutsch’s Mitsubishi Effort

Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America dealers are hoping “car envy” among consumers will keep its sales strong as it unleashes a new campaign from Deutsch/LA.
Three black-and-white commercials, which broke last week on spot TV airing nationally, show vignettes in which lacking Mitsubishi cars sparks angst in a parking lot, on a date and at the car wash. The ads were crafted by copywriter Eric Springer and art director Vinny Picardi–the lead Mitsubishi creative team at the Playa del Rey, Calif., shop and the duo behind its “Wake up and drive” national, corporate effort.
“The time is right, business is good, and the trust level is high for this kind of tastefully done retail advertising,” said Eric Hirshberg, Deutsch evp, creative director. “[The dealers] see the correlation between better creative and better sales.”
He noted the aim of the spots is to convey that, for most people, there are moments when what their cars say about them is “the most important thing in their life.” Hirshberg added that with the new approach, Deutsch was able to bring the cars into the stories themselves.
In one spot, a man and woman who have been out of touch meet in a parking lot. She admires what appears to be his Mitsubishi Eclipse–until, to the man’s chagrin, the real owner arrives and drives off.
In another commercial, three guys ogle a Montero Sport SUV at a car wash. Then, the car-wash workers dry a prosaic station wagon; one of the men grimaces and reluctantly claims his ugly car.
The effort keeps the whimsical tone of Deutsch’s earlier dealer ads, which urged viewers to stay hip and were among several options available to Mitsubishi’s 168 dealer associations. The entire dealer body has agreed to use the new campaign.
The Cypress, Calif., client’s sales through June were up 34 percent from the same period last year.