CASSIES Bronze: Mitsubishi backs up its promise

The car brand re-introduced itself to consumers and enjoyed months of record sales.

This story appears in the February/March 2016 issue of strategy.

Bronze: Automotive

Situation Analysis:

Since arriving in Canada in 2003, Mitsubishi had enjoyed modest gains but remained a smaller player with a 1.2% market share, not a sustainable long-term position. Consumers were aware of Mitsubishi but almost none were “familiar” with the company. Mitsubishi needed to be re-introduced to consumers to strengthen familiarity and consideration and increase non-fleet sales by 7% year-over-year.

Insight & Strategy:

Mitsubishi is first and foremost a challenger automotive brand, known elsewhere for the Dakar Rally, torture testing of its vehicles and being first to market with All-Wheel Drive. The company has a philosophy of hard work, continuous innovation and improvement, embodied by its 10-year powertrain warranty. In short, Mitsubishis are backed better because they’re built better.


“Built better. Backed better.” launched nationally in June 2014 with a $1 million spend across TV, pre-roll, radio, print, digital, social, OOH and dealer communication.

The creative, Mitsubishi’s first-ever fully integrated campaign, highlighted specific models and incentives to illustrate how the 10-year warranty was grounded in the company’s heritage of superior engineering.


Following launch, Mitsubishi recorded five consecutive record sales months, translating into a 40% sales gain year-over-year, well ahead of the industry, which grew at 9%. This was the highest increase of any car manufacturer in the country (foreign or domestic). Brand consideration increased 4% versus the previous year while purchase intent increased 3%. Traffic to increased 91% and qualified e-leads climbed up over 100%.

Cause & Effect:

Overall investment levels for the campaign were in line with 2013 budgets while incentives, outside of the 10-year warranty, were on par with the competition. Mitsubishi Canada’s work has been showcased at global dealer forums by Mitsubishi Japan.


Client: Mitsubishi Motors Canada

President: Kenichiro Yamamoto

Manager, advertising: Shauna Barker

Manager, marketing: Ryan Geary

Marketing specialist: Naoko Saito

Director – national marketing: Peter Renz

Agency: John St.

ECDs: Angus Tucker, Stephen Jurisic

CD: Niall Kelly

ADs: Emma Whathan, Jenny Luong

CW: Kohl Forsberg

Head of integrated production: Mavis Huntley

Broadcast producer: Dale Giffen

Digital producer: Cas Binnington

Print producer: Jen Shapiro

Account lead: Ian Brooks

Account director: Leah Lanza

Digital director: Joan MacAlpine

Account supervisor: Stuart Milligan

Strategic planning lead: Megan Towers

Strategic planner: Matt Michaels

Digital planner: Adam Ferraro