Mitsubishi Taps Rashida Jones As Brand's First Spokesperson

Mitsubishi Motors North America has chosen the first brand-level spokesperson in the automaker’s 40-year U.S. history. 

Actress, director and producer Rashida Jones will star in a new campaign from The Sussman Agency breaking this weekend to support the brand's “Mitsubishi Motors Confidence" pledge, which includes a comprehensive suite of maintenance, warranty, and roadside assistance programs. 

Mitsubishi does not have an AOR but has worked with The Sussman Agency previously. 

Jones’ blend of humor, authenticity and relatability will help Mitsubishi Motors break through the noise of typical automotive advertising to tell the brand’s unique story, says Kim Ito, Mitsubishi Motors North America vice president of marketing.

Ito teased the selection of a celebrity spokesperson during her onstage interview at MediaPost's recent TV & Video Insider Summit.



The actress is well known for her roles in hit shows such as “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation,” as well as films including “On the Rocks,” “I Love You, Man” and “The Social Network.” In 2019, she won a Grammy award for directing the documentary “Quincy.”

The automaker hopes to cut through the noise and distraction of the holiday season with the launch of the partnership, Ito says. 

"December is a big month in our industry, and as a smaller brand with less money to spend than some of our competitors, we have to be more clever with our spend and make sure we’re getting two dollars of value from every dollar we spend," Ito tells Marketing Daily. "A tier-one personality like Rashida Jones is the perfect partner for us to make that happen."

Ito says she has been wanting to associate Mitsubishi Motors with a celebrity for a while, but needed the right time and the right message.

"The success we’ve seen on the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid and its gasoline sibling means this is the right time, and the creation of our Mitsubishi Motors Confidence program was the right message," Ito says. "Rashida is the perfect fit for our brand, because she’s approachable, relatable, a ‘real’ person if you will. I’m convinced that our customers, and our potential customers, will love the idea too, and hopefully the humor we have injected into the spot makes it something that we can all relate to."

The Mitsubishi Motors Confidence marketing plan includes key activations in broadcast and connected television, paid search and social media using the brand’s industry-first real-time vehicle configurator, endemic advertising on select vehicle research and buying sites, and a focus on programmatic advertising during top-level sporting events across the NFL and NCAA football.

Mitsubishi looked at "a number of people, but I’d rather not share who they were out of respect for everyone involved," Ito says. "When Rashida Jones was mentioned, though, I knew immediately that she was the right person for us, because she immediately felt like someone you had known your whole life."

The deal is open-ended, she says. 

"For now, we are committed to partnering on three separate spots over the next six or so months," Ito says. "What’s so exciting about working with a talent like Rashida is that she’s brought her own unique vision in directing to the spot you’ve already seen. We took her input during scripting and filming, which made the piece even more impactful and memorable."

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