Mitsubishi Motor Sales America appears to have scotched dissatisfaction with an earlier regional TV ad effort from Deutsch, New York, by allowing dealers to vote directly for their preferred executions of the latest campaign.
The $60-80 million effort, which broke late last week and is tagged "Everybody wins," was apparently successful at erasing criticism that the prior effort in February wasn't a hard enough sell. Unlike many car makers, Mitsubishi is granting greater authority to its dealers.
As a result, the automaker's regionalized imperative has taken on added momentum among dealers skeptical that the importer really wanted them to have more of a say in the process. "I'm as excited to be a Mitsubishi dealer as I've been in the last decade," Greg Kelly, managing partner of Kelly Mitsubishi, Lehigh Valley, Pa., said last week.
"Lots of manufacturers, such as GM, are taking the control away from their dealers," said client marketing director Peg Dilworth-Hunt. "Mitsubishi is going clearly in the opposite direction."
The spots for the Galant, Eclipse and Montero were developed with three intensity levels. Two spots offer a softer "straight-talk" approach, one citing the cars' numerous awards, the other focusing on the call to sale. The harder-hitting option almost exclusively addresses price. All carry cues from the ongoing "Wake up and drive" national brand campaign.
Dealers were balloted at five regional meetings and chose from the three options. About 75 percent went for the straight-talk ads, split evenly between deal-focused and awards-focused executions; the rest opted for the hard sell.
Although they liked Deutsch's national ads, several dealers had questioned the effectiveness of the prior regional effort. Dilworth-Hunt took the blame, saying Mitsubishi didn't give Deutsch a strong enough package for the February lease deal campaign.