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Did It Work?

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Down 12 percent to 48,000 through May, compared to the same period last year, per Car Concepts' Todd Turner. Every model but Eclipse is down: Endeavor 27 percent to 6,000, Galant 28 percent to 12,000 and Lancer 43 percent to 8,000. "Suzuki will pass Mitsubishi by July or August," he predicts.

A GfK study indicates that Mitsubishi's "imagery" is building with the Eclipse relaunch and that its dependability/quality/reliability value is rising. But the company says the brand name still has better awareness than individual models.

Compete Inc.'s Lincoln Merrihew says that shares of market interest in the brand's BBDO era rose a half percent to 4 percent. "There is a clear cause-and-effect between their ads and in-market shopping. When they shout, people still turn and look," he says, adding that ads tripled the number of in-market car shoppers looking at the Eclipse.

Eclipse's halo has not shined on the car line; a modest success with the Eclipse was followed by the Raider flop. The "Driven to Thrill" campaign's next test will come with the relaunch of the Outlander SUV this fall and the Lancer next spring.