Modernista! Launches $20 Mil. Hummer Campaign

Modernista! takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to make General Motors’ new Hummer H2 more attractive to younger buyers in a $20 million effort that breaks this week. The launch features the Boston shop’s first TV ads for the erstwhile military vehicle.

The TV work is scheduled to break in mid-August. The campaign will in clude three 30-second spots, shot in Iceland and Vancouver, British Columbia, that focus heavily on product shots of the H2 driving through scenic urban and natural locations. In one, the driver is a professional woman traveling through the city of Vancouver, while a second features a couple, and the third stars three male friends. All include the tagline, “Hummer. Like nothing else.”

The intent, said Modernista! co-founder and CEO Gary Koepke, is to “romanticize the truck,” which competes against lux ury SUVs such as the Lincoln Navigator, Land Rover’s Range Rover and the Lexus LX 470.

Print ads break this week and fea ture lighthearted copy tailored to specific publications. For example, one ad running in Vanity Fair reads: “Threaten the men in your office in a whole new way.” Another ad, expected to appear in the Robb Report, reads: “Excessive. In a Rome at the height of its power sort of way.”

The print campaign will run through 2002 in a wide range of magazines, including Rolling Stone, Forbes, GQ, Motor Trend and Wired. Outdoor will run in 14 major markets, including Chicago, Detroit, New York and Los Angeles.

Mike Densmore, Modernista! di rector of client services, said the effort is aimed at 30- to 44-year-old buyers earning $150,000-plus annually—still affluent but younger than the 45 or older demographic that was drawn to the H1. The H2 is about half the price of its predecessor—$48,000 versus the H1’s $100,000-plus base price.

In the past, GM has indicated it eventually hopes for annual Hummer sales of 25,000-30,000. In 2001, the marque had sales of 768, down from 875 in 2000.