Mitsubishi Rides the Line

LOS ANGELES Mitsubishi Motors North America marks its 25 years in the United States in a commercial from Omnicom Group’s BBDO that breaks today, according to the agency.

The spot starts with a stroboscopic effect of the white line on a highway and runs rapid fire through eras of Mitsubishi production models, street teams and racing vehicles. Voiceover: “It’s been 25 years . . . since we first made our mark in America. Twenty-five years of building a buzz, of turning drivers into fanatics.”

As the spot approaches the contemporary time line, it references BBDO’s most recent Mitsubishi legacy, with shots of Japanese Taiko drummers and the “J-cool” culture. The tag: “Get ready, the next 25 years begin today.”

The commercial will run on national cable outlets such as ESPN, Fox News, E! and Spike, according to the Cypress, Calif., automaker. A two-minute version will be offered to dealers.

“Both ‘Origami’ [an earlier ad] and this spot are about our Japanese heritage,” said Mike Nash, director of advertising at MMNA. “We’re proud of what we’ve done, and introduced some cool cars. The spot adds substance.”

Nash said the spot is a “corporate statement” that runs up to the Eclipse Spyder launch on April 18. He said the company would likely run the anniversary spot as a run-up to all model launches this year.

Jim Lesser, creative director at BBDO West, San Francisco, led the creative team.

The automaker spent $235 million advertising in 2005, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Mitsubishi unit sales of under 26,000 units are down 26 percent through March compared to last year, according to Car Concepts, Thousand Oaks, Calif. Only the recently redesigned Eclipse model is doing better than last year.