Mitsu: We Knew You Then, So Now When?


It was amazing to read yesterday, the leaked info [or shall I say, The Info That Became Publicly Available] on carmaker Mitsubishi Motors. After plunging sales in recent years following iffy product supply, spotty Dealer relations, and other woes, the news arrived today, via AdWeek, that Mitsu’s RFP for a new Creative agency goes far beyond the usual elements. The news appeared in the article entitled, “Inside the Mitsubishi RFP”, by Andrew McMains.

Apparently, they want this new Agency to not only provide candid feedback on the Brand’s status…they want them to create a brand-new Brand vision…and then tell them what that vision is. In other words, Define the Brand. Now, I am familiar with mega conglom’s maybe doing this for product lines/extensions, but the actual “Core” of the company? Never that I have ever heard of.

Perhaps others have done this, but it was kept far more under wraps. The fact that Mitsu did not require NDA status with the prospective agencies in the RFP process, under threat of legal action to keep this confidential, is stunning. It is, an amazing public admission. With sales way down for almost all makes, every other Car brand out there now knows the depths of lost focus that has occured at Mitsu; talk about a wounded competitor. For a brand with cars that were once very popular, that had quality vehicles for decades, it is not fun to watch this.

This comment nails on the head, in my mind, the perception as to their need for going outside in finding a ‘Brand ID’: “Sorry, if you haven’t established that in 30 years, you never will”, says Todd Turner/Car Concepts in the AdWeek article. Exactly. P&G knows what they are about, Coca-Cola does, Oracle does, GAP does. Mitsu? Not so much? Try not at all, it appears.

As for their new Creative agency: their work is cut out for them. With the breadth of work involved [from Brand to Message to total Web presence], no one in their right mind will be low-balling their quote here, and in reality it could be a juicy project at a time when there are few of those to be had.

For those on the Digital Media Sales side, it was indicated that those budgets will be flat, or slightly higher, while all else gets whacked. With a new agency coming in & creating a vision/brand/strategy, the oppt’y clearly exists for some savvy Integrated/Partner-type programs, with some of the dynamic Web properties that are coming up out there.

Best of luck in these down days, Mitsu.

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~ by MindOnMediaSales on January 27, 2010.

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