Suzuki to launch major campaign to support Kizashi sport sedan

(December 22, 2010) MediaPost’s Karl Greenberg reports American Suzuki's Kizashi sport sedan has gone some ways toward raising awareness for the automaker whose name many people associate only with motorcycles and marine engines.

Next year he says Suzuki will shift most of its marketing dollars behind the car with a campaign centering on a series of ads showing how the Kizashi fares against the competition. Except in this case, the competitive set is not other mid-sized cars but luxury sports sedans by Audi, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz.

The campaign, comprising three 30-second TV spots and two 15-second ads, touts Kizashi for its handling, safety and performance — with the takeaway that one doesn't need a premium badge and price point to get a premium experience.

The campaign is not without a bit of humor, as they also pit Kizashi against a motorized sofa, a man completely encased in a bubble-wrap suit and a stretch limo. One of the spots has Kizashi beating the Audi A4 — and the motorized sofa — in braking, cornering and quietness tests.

There will also be a new Web site for the "Kizashi Kicks" campaign —, set to go live this week. The site will have interactive animation, videos, tools for consumer input, and links to the Suzuki Auto site with dealer locator, build and pricing features.

"Kizashi was designed to appeal to buyers who want to own entry luxury vehicles in the future," says Steve Younan, Suzuki’s director of marketing. "It was designed to deliver quality and handling at a price within reach of all buyers more or less. That's the story we want to tell. And the campaign also has that breakthrough factor that makes it memorable -- that helps us break through the TV clutter."

Younan says the car is not just the halo for the brand, but the breadwinner, as it resides in the highest-volume segment of the car market. Seventy-five percent of Kizashi buyers have not bought Suzuki before, according to Younan, who adds that the median age of Kizashi buyers is mid-40's and that they are about 60% male.

Source: MediaPost’s Marketing Daily