Bigger, peppier Lancer

Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America woke up to the subcompact market with its 2002 Lancer - a larger, more powerful vehicle than its predecessor, the Mirage sedan. And the campaign introducing the vehicle is the company's second-largest advertising effort in the United States, trailing only the $44 million launch of the mid-sized Gallant in 1999. The Lancer campaign broke last month with 15-second teaser commercials on cable and network TV, followed by 30-second spots. The spots aired on shows such as CBS' "Everybody loves Raymond," ABC's "NYPD Blue" and NBC's "Frasier." A print campaign will launch this month, followed by a direct mail campaign later in the fourth quarter. A micro Web site (www.2002lancer.com) generated 60,000 hand raisers between April and August. Frances Oda, Mitsubishi's new vice president of marketing, said the company will target highly educated 22- to 45-year-olds with a median household income of $40,000. Deutsch Advertising in Los Angeles created the Lancer spots, which use the company's 3-year old "Wake Up and Drive" tagline.

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