#badcopyblog: Mitsubishi’s Big Blunder

Mitsubishi’s Big Blunder
Why the Brand Can’t Gain Canadian Traction

By Aaron Binder

mitsubishi logo

Have you seen the new Mitsubishi television ads?

They’re promoting their 10-year anniversary sale and the ads are needlessly bland, confusing and passive aggressive.  I get the gist, it’s the 10-year anniversary but to play off disappointment and show their personified brand act passive aggressive is utterly mystifying.

Before you read further, take a look –

Are they trying to tell me not to forget because I have forgotten or because their advertising in Canada up until this point has been so forgettable that consumers’ relationship with the brand itself isn’t worth remembering?

What confuses me the most about these ads is why a brand would want to come off pouty, passive-aggressive, and upset.  It’s a confusing message that should have no place at national level advertising,

This is why your message is so important, what’s your story?  Do people know it?  If they don’t, why not?

If consumers can’t remember your 10 year anniversary, don’t patronize them like these ads do.  Instead, build a brand that’s worth remembering.  It’s even funnier that these exist when you look at some of the Mitsubishi ads in other regions of the world.  From this year is a piece for the Mitsubishi Outlander titled “Unpretentious” and it’s good, not great but it accomplishes making the brand and vehicle look important.  How did the Canadian version stray so far?

You can be the best and still not have respect if your message is poor.  Did you know Mitsubishi offers a 10-year warranty on their cars?  It’s pretty generous too, most manufacturers won’t even touch this type of coverage.  When you back up your exceptional warranty coverage with reliable vehicles you end up undermining your product’s value with poor messages – you lose consumer confidence.

What should Mitsubishi have done?

Stayed on message.  They already have a strong story with their warranty and product quality, the brand styling is youthful and energetic.  That’s what they should focus on.  In fact, John St., their ad agency had gold with the slogan “Must be the Mitsubishi”, it ties together the story with the product quality and image.

They shouldn’t have assumed that their brand is known enough to stop trumpeting their excellent warranty and products.  With a market share sitting around 1.4%, you don’t have any other option.  In Mitsubishi’s position the best strategy is reiteration of the brand value but also making sure it’s fun.  Also, where’s the social tie-ins?  Mitsubishi Canada has spent a number of years building up a respectable social platform, why isn’t there a call to action regarding this anywhere in the ad?

The last tile on this page is an example of an ad that John St. put together for Mitsubishi.  The type of ad they should be showing nationally – http://www.johnst.com/work

I don’t know what the relationship is like between Mitsubishi Canada and John St. but if I were involved with Mitsubishi in any way, I’d be worried about my job – the brand has had a difficult time in Canada since entering the marketplace and these latest ads don’t inspire confidence in the brand.  Unless the message is pulled off perfectly no brand should ever patronize an audience.  If Mitsubishi hopes to stay in the Canadian market they need to be better than this.

This is the better, international ad from Mitsubishi –

You can read some market share information here – http://www.desrosiers.ca/pdfs/sales.pdf


6 thoughts on “#badcopyblog: Mitsubishi’s Big Blunder

  1. I especially DISLIKE the add where the mitsubishi sales person is taking the food away from a pregnant woman!!!!!What is this supposed to be bringing to them??? What a way to discourage women from buying their products!!!!

  2. Just another stale idea that didn’t get filtered out with focus groups. John St obviously has a better marketing philosophy than whoever Mitsubishi hired.

  3. I agree with these comments. The ads with the ‘silent’ Mitsubishi person staring at the customer, and the angry guy in the invisible suit looking at the SUV – don’t say anything, are not remotely funny, are just dumb wastes of budget. I’ve never seen such drivel (was going to say crap) in 35 years being in the design/marketing business in Canada.

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