Suzuki Bows Vitara

American Suzuki Motor Corp. this week launches the largest ad push in its history to introduce the all-new 1999 V-6 Grand Vitara mini sport-utility vehicle and reposition the Suzuki nameplate in the U.S. market.
The $30 million campaign from Asher & Partners in Los Angeles breaks today. A new themeline, “Engineered to fit your life,” replaces “Ask anyone who owns one,” to emphasize that Suzuki builds its products to fit consumers’ needs and lifestyles.
“This will be our flagship line,” said Lore McKenna, national advertising sales manager for the Brea, Calif., company, of the Grand Vitara. The company is dropping its Sidekick and X-90 models to focus on the new model, which it hopes will lure buyers away from best-selling mini SUVs such as Honda’s CR-V and Toyota’s RAV4, she said. Its goal is to sell 1,500-2,000 units of the Grand Vitara each month during a six-month media blitz, she added.
The campaign is comprised of three TV spots and three print ads stressing the Grand Vitara’s V-6 power, styling and other features. In one of two spots breaking this week on CBS’ The Heisman Watch, the Grand Vitara races along a rugged plain amid a herd of horses. A passenger taking photos is surprised to see one horse turn to her and ask, “That’s a Suzuki?”
Similarly, in another spot, the moon asks a couple on a romantic outing, “Is that really a Suzuki? It’s very nice.”
The automaker has secured programming sponsorships and merchandising programs on CBS and the Fox Sports Cable Network.