A quirky commercial to introduce the return of American Isuzu Motors' Amigo sport-utility is off the air after nearly a two-month run.
The spot, which used the jingle from the Slinky toy's commercials in the 1970s and people with retro hairdos in clothes of the era, was pulled after consumer complaints, according to an executive close to the car marketer who requested anonymity.
An ad agency executive who works for another carmaker commented that the Amigo commercial was targeted too young - at 12-year-olds.
'We did get reports kids were humming it or singing it,' said Joe Fellona, vice president for marketing at Isuzu. He said the spot was hitting the core demographic of 18-to-34-year-old consumers.
Fellona said the original strategy called for the spot, which was done by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners of San Francisco, to run about two months. 'It was an intro ad, and we made it to create awareness,' he said.
But Fellona conceded the spot got a polarized reception in tests after the commercial broke.
'It was well received (by) people who got the parody to Slinky and the '70s,' he said. 'Either people got (the parody) or they didn't get it; either they liked it or they disliked it. Most people in the core
demographic got it.'
Robert Reilly, senior vice president and general manager at Isuzu, said that when the spot began airing in March, it was to be the sole commercial for Amigo. 'I'd like to see everyone humming and singing' the Amigo-spot jingle, he said at the time. Reilly could not be reached for comment last week.
Goodby now is working on new Amigo commercials that will break in June or July, Fellona said.