Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America dealers are hoping "car envy" among consumers will keep the sales joyride going as they unleash a new campaign from Deutsch/LA.
In a parking lot, on a date and at the car wash, not owning a Mitsubishi sparks moments of angst in three black-and-white TV spots. The ads were crafted by copywriter Eric Springer and art director Vinny Picardi--the lead Mitsubishi creatives at the Marina del Rey, Calif., agency and the duo behind the car maker's "Wake up and drive" national advertising.
"The time is right, business is good and the trust level is high for this kind of tastefully done retail advertising," said Eric Hirshberg, Deutsch executive vice president, creative director. "[The dealers] see the correlation between better creative and better sales."
Hirshberg said the aim of the ads is to convey that there are moments, for most people, when what their car says about them is "the most important thing in their life."
In one spot, for example, a man and woman who have been out of touch for a while run into each other in a parking lot. She says he looks good and admires what appears to be his Mitsubishi Eclipse--until, to the man's chagrin, the real owner arrives and drives off.
In another commercial, three guys are waiting at a car wash, admiring the Mitsubishi Montero Sport SUV moving through the wash line. Finally, one guy reluctantly gets up to claim
his unappealing station wagon.
The campaign retains the tone of earlier dealer ads, which whimsically evoked the urge to stay hip. One pondered "the first time someone calls you sir"; another captured a moment of truth at the gym for a minivan owner. While that work was among several options available to the car maker's 168 dealer associations, the entire dealer body has agreed to use the new campaign.
Mitsubishi's year-to-date sales through June were up 34 percent from last year. The Cypress, Calif., automaker's U.S. market share is now 2.5 percent, compared to 1.9 percent a year ago.