Mitsubishi Won’t Rule Out A Review

Even as Deutsch breaks a $40 million-plus campaign for Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America’s new Galant sedan, executives hint that other shops may still have an outside shot at the client’s factory business.
Mitsubishi is “keeping the door open” on a review for the $100 million ad account, said Pierre Gagnon, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Cypress, Calif.-based company. Once the Galant launch is under way, the agency and client will discuss a long-term arrangement, said Gagnon. A review is “less and less of a possibility” given Deutsch’s performance so far, he added.
Mitsubishi will “look at” its relationships with all of its agencies, with an eye toward possible changes, said marketing communications director Peg Dilworth-Hunt. The client has four other shops handling separate direct marketing, collateral material, interactive and Hispanic ad assignments.
While Mitsubishi has said that Deutsch (which already has the $80 million consolidated dealer business) is only handling Galant, sources said the agency is sketching out strategies for models such as the Montero and Eclipse. The shop expects to be formally awarded the factory account in a matter of weeks, sources said. Deutsch chief executive Donny Deutsch would only say, “We hope this is the beginning of a very long relationship.”
To support the Galant, Deutsch is breaking a fast-paced TV and print campaign under the theme, “Wake up and drive” [Adweek, July 6]. Spots feature rock music, quick cuts of cars driving through cityscapes, a blinking neon logo and cheeky lines such as, “The other soccer moms will talk,” and “A family sedan disguised as a midlife crisis.” Two teasers broke last weekend; the bulk of the campaign kicks in Aug. 1.
Eric Hirshberg, the creative director at Deutsch’s Marina del Rey office who oversaw the creative effort with Kathy Delaney in New York, said the ads give Mitsubishi a “confident tone” for the first time.