Whoever wins this review won’t have long to face a make-or-break challenge on the business. One of the main elements of the brief given to finalists is to develop a campaign for the new version of Mitsubishi’s Eclipse sports car launching in June—given the automaker’s dire straits, probably one of its most critical launches ever. In addition, finalists have been asked to create an overall re-branding strategy to bring the nameplate back in the U.S. The review also was triggered in part by dealers’ desire “to light a fire under Deutsch,” said insiders. That tactic backfired when the seven-year incumbent resigned the business because, sources said, it became obvious to the shop that the factory was determined to make a change. Review committee member and new ad director Kevin Mayer said at the Detroit Auto Show last month that he wants a return to the Deutsch work of 1999 and 2000 when the youth-on-the-road-of-life campaigns featured ads derided by departed CEO Finnbar O’Neill as “music videos.” Final presentations are being held this week. Select Resources International, Santa Monica, Calif., is the consultant.
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