Colby’s Need for Speed

Passion, Detail Ride Together in Suzuki Ads
LOS ANGELES–New models, superior engineering and race victories are the focus of a new ad campaign for Suzuki motorcycles. Billings are in excess of $10 million, according to industry estimates.
The new print and TV work for Brea, Calif.-based American Suzuki Motor Corp. was created by Colby Effler & Partners, Santa Monica, Calif. The print component, consisting of six single-page ads and two spreads, breaks this month. There is no tagline for the campaign.
One single-page ad, for the 1999 Suzuki SV650 street bike, shows the bike and rider driving over a bar code, sending the numbers and bars flying. Copy reads, “Passion can’t be tracked or quantified.” Text below continues, “Which isn’t to say passion defies definition,” and goes on to describe the specifics of the bike’s exterior and its “soul of a streetfighter.” Key highlighted details include the machine’s 90-degree V-twin engine and aluminum alloy truss-style frame.
Another print ad, for Suzuki’s sports bike line, supports the GSX-R600, TL1000R and GSX-R750 models. The headline reads, “Finish lines never are.” Copy describes the various races the bikes have won, including the 1998 AMA 600cc and 750cc Supersport National Championships.
“Each model appeals to a different group of people,” said agency president and creative director Rick Colby. “We have to treat each product separately, yet try to build a brand for Suzuki.” The company’s innovative motorcycle engineering ties the models together, he added.
Print ads will run in motorcycle enthusiast magazines, as well as Car & Driver, Popular Mechanics and other broader-reaching publications.
The TV campaign consists of four spots: “Lone Wolf” supports the Intruder line of V-Twin cruisers; “Eternal Race” the sport bike line (also highlighting race victories); “Fog Bird” the new flagship ultimate sport bike Hayabusa model; and “Noisy Voice” the all-terrain vehicles.
“Suzuki brings a uniquely innovative technological approach to motorcycles,” said Colby Effler executive vice president Paul Katzka. “And the new campaign demonstrates specific benefits that have real meaning to each segment of motorcycling.”
The TV ads break later this month on targeted motocross and motorcycle-focused programming, and on the Speedvision network. The spots will air heavily from early spring through late summer, when the most motorcycles are purchased, Katzka added.