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Colby Sends Up SUVs

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Poking fun at SUV extravagance, Colby Effler & Partners is emphasizing simplicity in its first advertising campaign for Suzuki's new SUV, the XL-7.

The Santa Monica, Calif.-based agency is set to unveil three 30-second spots along with four 15-second teaser ads in January. Starcom Media, Chicago, is handling most of the media buying on the estimated $35 million account.

Colby's media mix will include national cable and local television. Print ads will appear in enthusiast magazines such as Car and Driver and Motor Trend.

"The spots are really interesting in that they poke fun at all these really big, excessive SUVs," said Colby Effler principal Rick Colby.

"Some of these things have 20 cup holders."

Colby, which landed the account in June, expects the humorous spots and the relatively low $20,000 price tag to lure "sensible" consumers.

One spot titled "Tailgate" has the driver of an extremely large SUV attempting to park. As the driver backs into the space, the model's ridiculously high bumper scrapes the hood of a parked car.

The spots include the voiceover, "You don't have to go to excess to get size and power" and the tagline, "It fits."

Colby landed the American Suzuki Motor Corp. account after handling its $15 million motorcycle and ATV business for 15 years.

The coup propelled the agency into the $100 million-plus billing category.