Mitsubishi Influencer Marketing

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Automotive Influencer Marketing

Some examples of automotive companies that have worked with influencers in marketing campaigns with noteworthy results are Volvo, Ford and Toyota.

Of these, Volvo has had the most success in its 2017 campaign with music and fashion influencer Aimee Song — Ms. Song's Instagram campaign provided the car maker with US$5 million worth of media coverage.

Please see below for more notes on our findings and methodology.

Please note that influencer campaigns on mid-range cars are relatively scarce — most influencers work with luxury cars: our research yielded ample examples of influencer campaigns for Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, Subaru, Jaguar, Chevrolet and GMC, suggesting that these campaigns are common for high end cars.

Some mid-range automotive companies, including Ford and Kia, have worked with influencers in the arts or social work industry (such as actors or activists) — however, since these influencers do not fit the definition provided, we decided to leave the campaigns out of this list.

Similarly, social media driven campaigns working with bloggers and users of social media are common for car makers across the board — and some manufacturers, such as Ford, are known for having had notable success with it. However, these campaigns do not focus on influencers as per the definition provided, and therefore do not qualify for this list.

The most apt example provided below is the first one, which is also the most recent — Volvo working with music and fashion influencer Aimee Song. Adweek emphasized this case and provided substantial metrics showcasing its success, which suggests that these types of campaigns for mid-range cars are still not the norm — but should, as they are effective.

Influencer(s): Aimee Song

Dates of the campaign: June 2017

Details on the campaign: During the two-week project, Ms. Song shared three posts and one Instagram story to her (then) 4.6 million followers (valued US$1 per follower). The campaign coincided with the launch of the Federal Trade Commission rules that all posts had to be clearly labeled as a paid partnership.

John Militello, director of marketing at Volvo Car USA, told Adweek that “Volvo believes there is a very specific way to work with influencers. When you put in the time and effort to build relationships with influencers and align strategically and build trust, we can see great success.”

Metrics of success: over US$5 million worth of media. Other stats, as posted by Adweek:

Average Instagram Stories views: 400,000
Total likes: 113,500
Total comments: 728
Total number of people who saved Song’s posts: 1,009
Total impressions: 2.14 million
Total reach: 1.7 million
Total engagement: 115,200

Influencer(s): Jamie Spafford, Barry James Taylor, Mike Huttlestone and Ben Ebbrell, who together form the YouTube content group SORTEDfood

Dates of the campaign(s): March/April/October 2016

Details on the campaign: SORTEDfood, who have 1.8 million followers on YouTube, produced three videos for Ford in 2016, with the hashtag #Unlearn. Two of them focused on food in cars, one on items that are easy to eat on the go and another on seven things to never eat in a car, and another was focused on a food battle.

Whereas there are no specific metrics on whether the campaign was successful, the videos accrued over a million views and comments surpassed 4,000.

Metrics of success (added up manually from YouTube's stats):
Total views: 1,013,666
Total likes: 34,600
Total comments: 4,614

Influencer(s): Louis Cole

Dates of the campaign(s): July-August 2015

Details on the campaign: Mr. Cole, who has over 2 million followers on YouTube, did a road trip through the west coast of the US in 2015 for Toyota, and produced 17 videos showcasing different parts of the trip — including destinations visited as well as daily occurrences, such as running out of gas. Every video is introduced by a different person, presumably someone Mr. Cole has met in his trip.

Whereas there are no specific metrics on whether the campaign was successful, views reached over 2.5 million and engagement was high with over 10,000 comments.

Metrics of success (added up manually with YouTube's stats):
Total views: 2,633,345
Total likes: 110,800
Total comments: 11,320

To wrap up, some car manufacturers that have worked with influencers in marketing campaigns with noteworthy results are Volvo, Ford and Toyota.

Volvo has had the most success: its 2017 campaign with music and fashion influencer Aimee Song turned out US$5 million worth of media coverage.
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Mitsubishi Motors Advertising


With a young target market, Mitsubishi Motor's advertising is designed to attract the "young at heart", including couples and young families. The 2001 "Wake Up and Drive" campaign was its first truly successful U.S. TV ad which established Mitsubihi's brand image with '17 Outlander "Everything" campaign being its most recent successful TV ad campaign that gathered more impressions than other ads by competitors. In 2016, Mitsubishi ran a successful "Kids Talk Safety" social media campaign, in which kids described the complex features of 2017 Outlander, and won the 2017 Driving Engagement Award for this campaign. Details of the findings are given below:

Mitsubishi Motor's Advertising background

In the 1990s, Mitsubishi Motor's realized that it needed to set itself apart from its competitors. To do so, it decided to use advertising to create its brand image in the minds of its American consumers. Mitsubishi decided upon creating hard-to-forget, short but entertaining TV ads as its advertising strategy.

Target Demographic/Market

Mitsubishi Motor's target audience is young. However, Mitsubishi defines young as "young at heart" and not confined to any age limit. Depending on the model, their cars are generally targeted at youngster above the age of 18, couples or young families looking for a safe vehicle and belonging to low to middle-class income background.

Past Advertising Themes and Their Effectiveness

In the 1990s, Deutsch Inc. was hired by Mitsubishi to establish its image in the minds of American consumers. Deutsch Inc. came up with the concept of using young people listening and lip-syncing to music while driving or riding in their Mitsubishi cars. For the 2001 "Wake up and Drive" campaign, they used a relatively unknown song "Start the Commotion" by the Wiseguys for two Mitsubishi Eclipse commercials to create a brand image for Mitsubishi. Mitsubishi's brand awareness rose by 36% from 1998 to 2001 while its sales hit a record 322,393 units in 2001. However, it should be noted that these figures are not solely attributed to the success of these ads. Advertising spending of Mitsubishi and its competitors in the U.S. in 2001 and 2000 are given below:

Mitsubishi (2001) 226,687,700 compared to (2000) 250,976,700
KIA (2001) 204,529,000 compared to (2000) 90,446,300
Nissan (2001) 536,383,500 compared to (2000) 611,617,100
Mazda (2001) 177,628,900 compared to (2000) 135,881,200
Suzuki (2001) 38,636,300 compared to (2000) 23,599,700

Extra: In 2001, Mitsubishi spent $1,795,365 on internet advertisement compared to $2,197,510 in 2000, and $1,543,810 spent by Mazda, and $8,876,799 spent by Nissan in 2001.

Since then, Mitsubishi has featured many songs in its TV advertisements including their "Are you in?" campaign to attract Generation Y and to create future demand for its cars.

Following some hard times, Mitsubishi came up with the idea of a funny and engaging "100 Spokespeople" campaign where 100 improvements in Mitsubishi's 2016 Outlander would be discussed by those qualified to discuss the improvement. After this campaign was run, Mitsubishi sold 70,765, 5.4% more than the previous year during the first eight months of 2017. The Outlander ad also resulted in boosting sales by 32.6% to 23,260 with an expenditure of $86.9 million on measured media that included TV, print, radio and outdoor ads expenditure in 2016.

In November 2017, Mitsubishi '17 Outlander "Everything" campaign became the most watched auto ad. The ad featured safety as a main feature and promised that the 2017 Outlander came equipped with everything a family needs. The ad managed to gather the highest number of impressions-352,282,037-across national broadcast and cable TV airings with an estimated TV spending of $4,830,858. Comparison of competitor campaigns over the same period is given below:

> Nissan: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
272,308,640 Impressions, $3,734,544 Estimated TV Spending

> Ford: Year End Sales Event: First Impression: Escape and Edge
263,304,713 Impressions, $4,513,517 Estimated TV Spending

> Ford: Year End Sales Event: Perfect Fit
246,718,639 Impressions, $3,592,246 Estimated TV Spending

> KIA: Light Up the Holidays Sales Event: 2018 Sorento
237,775,117 Impressions, $5,365,320 Estimated TV Spending

Social Media Campaigns

Like most brands nowadays, Mitsubishi has used social media campaigns to attract customers and create buzz-worthy news. While its "Temp Drive" campaign of 2012 was not very successful, its recent endeavors in social media campaigns have been more fruitful. It's 2017 "Kids Talk Safety" campaign won the 2017 Driving Engagement Award. This engaging campaign stood out from the rest as it was innovative. The campaign used a series of videos in which kids imaginatively described complex features of 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander. It was estimated that the campaign reached over half a million people and has an engagement rate three times higher than Mitsubishi's former campaigns.


Mitsubishi Motor's advertising is designed to attract the young, couples and young families from low to middle-income backgrounds. Its social media and advertising campaigns are focused on attracting this target market using innovative advertising campaigns without spending as much as its bigger competitors like General Motors. The 2001 "Wake Up and Drive" campaign was its first truly successful TV ad in the US and "Kids Talk Safety" was Mitsubishi's recent successful social media campaign, in which kids described the complex features of 2017 Outlander.