Mitsubishi Calls Out Competitors’ Claims

LOS ANGELES Mitsubishi Motors North America will back what it calls its “industry-leading warranty” with a multi-channel TV component that breaks today, said a company marketing executive.

“The best-backed car in the world claim is actually the umbrella beneath which we will differentiate the brand,” said Ian Beavis, senior vice president of marketing at Mitsubishi. “More than that, it is part of the fabric of the life of this company going forward.”

Beavis said the commercial, by Interpublic Group’s Deutsch/LA, Marina del Rey, Calif., breaks today on network, cable and spot television. It will feature footage of the Galant, Endeavor and the seasonally promoted Eclipse. Beavis said the copy details Mitsubishi’s warranty and boasts “not Honda, Nissan, Toyota, BMW or Mercedes backs their cars as well as we do.”

“Our ads will disrupt the category by calling out all our competitors to point out that they don’t have anywhere near as strong a claim,” said Mike Sheldon, managing partner at Deutsch. “We’ll let the advertising get out of the way of the message.”

Beavis said Deutsch is also launching online and radio components tomorrow as well, and that strong incentive and ad co-op programs will allow dealerships, just informed yesterday of the policy change, to participate more in dealer advertising. A “Best Backed Cars of the World” event marketing strategy will push vehicle sales through the July and August peak-selling season.

The warranty program, introduced today by the Cypress, Calif., automaker, adds a five-year, 60,000 miles bumper-to-bumper new-car package to an existing three-year, 45,000 mile free maintenance and 10-year, 100,000 mile plan, which the company began in January to remain competitive with nameplates such as Hyundai and Kia.

Beavis said the Hyundai and Kia warranties “are a factor, but not the driving factor. We are able to do this because we’ve seen dramatic improvements in the product quality.”

Campaign spending is undisclosed.