Mitsubishi is featuring real new parents in a new digital campaign for the Outlander SUV. The effort touts the vehicle for getting the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick for the second year in a row,
In the documentary campaign, via 180LA, Mitsubishi gives the parents and newborns a ride back home from the hospital in the SUV. The Web series features three New York-area families and their newborns.
The automaker says the effort will include TV spots based on the videos. There will be additional videos that speak more directly to the Super All-Wheel Control and Forward Collision Mitigation systems. They will run in online video next month and are on the Web site.
Mitsubishi, whose U.S. division is in Cypress, Calif., started advertising the 2014 model Outlander last year with a campaign called "Find your own lane," which also brought the automaker back to prime-time TV for the first time in many years. At that time, Francine Harsini, head of marketing, said it was also the company's biggest fiscal-year digital ad spend to date. That year ended in March.
The automaker is trying to claw its way back into relevance in the U.S. where in the early Millennium it was selling hundreds of thousands of vehicles per year. Even though it saw sales gain last year, it sold fewer than 70,000 vehicles. One thing Mitsubishi certainly doesn't want is to be the third Japanese brand to leave the U.S. after Isuzu and Suzuki, which now only sells motorcycles here.
A better model would be Mazda, which sold 283,947 cars in the U.S. last year. Or Subaru, which sold 424,683 cars last year -- a record, and an over 26% improvement versus the year before.