MITSUBISHI CEASES ADS ON NETWORK TV

Marketing Chief Tells iMedia Summit of Shift to Other Media

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DEER PARK, Utah (Adage.com) -- Mitsubishi Motors of North America has ceased advertising on broadcast network TV, said Ian Beavis, the automaker's senior vice president of marketing, product and public relations. He said $120 million -- 75% of the automarker's advertising budget -- was pulled from broadcast this year.

Upfront announcement
The announcement yesterday at the iMedia Brand

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Summit here follows up on comments Mr. Beavis made earlier this year during the TV ad-buying period known as the upfront. Industry observers at the time viewed his remarks with some skepticism.

Mr. Beavis, finding nothing "compelling" in network TV's fall schedule, had said Mitsubishi would move at least half its spending in the medium to national cable, syndicated and spot TV while increasing magazine spending by 50% and devoting more of its budget to Internet advertising.

But here in Deer Park, Mr. Beavis told a session on integrated marketing that the company is still placing some cable TV ads and is beefing up its online budget, although he declined to provide specific numbers.

'See What Happens'
Mitsubishi's "See What Happens" online campaigns, which have used cliffhanger broadcast and cable TV ads to drive viewers to a Web site where they can watch the rest of the story, have drawn a strong audience response, he said. "Eighty percent of the people who buy a Mitsubishi have been to our Web site," he said. "The challenge is driving the other people there."

The "See What Happens" work, which debuted during this year's Super Bowl, was created by Mitsubishi's ad agency, Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch.

Integration evangelist
Mr. Beavis took on the job of Mitsubishi's marketing chief in fall 2003 and moved quickly to consolidated offline and online advertising with Deutsch and iDeutsch. He has been an evangelist of integrated marketing that leans more heavily on the medium that reaches so many young buyers: the Internet.

He told the gathering that integrated advertising campaigns had not been part of Mitsubishi's marketing strategy because the old strategy was so tightly focused on broadcast TV. He pointed out that integration doesn't work if a company's marketing budget is segmented so that each area "has a fiefdom."

He said his agency choice reflects the importance of integration. "Deutsch never came to us with anything less than a fully integrated campaign," he said.

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