More auto marketers are giving their ads a uniform appearance across all their vehicle lines.
Infiniti will introduce a new look and feel for ads across its lineup starting with this summer's introduction of the redesigned I30, said Tom Orbe, general manager of Infiniti Division of Nissan North America Inc.
Mazda North American Operations, meanwhile, will adopt a uniform look in spots for all its cars, using modular sets similar to the building-block look used in ads for the 1999 Protege, said Ron Neale, director of marketing.
That set, created by photographing buildings and then pasting the shots on wooden blocks, was carried into a recent Miata spot. A second Protege spot with a block set, via ad agency Doner of Southfield, Mich., broke last week.
Many other car marketers already have adopted similar umbrella approaches. Ford Division, Oldsmobile and Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. are recent converts. Dodge has used a uniform ad approach since 1994.
Both Mazda and Infiniti have struggled in recent years. But in 1998, Mazda achieved its first profitable year in North America in seven years. Unit sales rose to 240,546, from 221,840 in 1997. Infiniti sales slipped to 63,649 from 65,552 the previous year.
Orbe said Infiniti is changing the look of its ads 'to enhance recognition and the continuity' of the brand's campaign. New music will be used to connect better with baby boomers and Generation Xers, he added.
Infiniti has used a variety of themes, tags and music in recent years in ads from TBWA/Chiat/Day of Playa del Rey, Calif. In the fall of 1996, it switched the tag for its flagship Q45 sedan from 'Thinking of you' to 'Everything changes but the soul.'
By 1997, actor Jonathan Pryce disappeared from ads that showed pretentious parties and moody street scenes, and Infiniti adopted another tag line, 'Own one and you'll understand.'
Infiniti ads have been too focused on price or lease deals, which hurt its image as a premium brand, said consultant James Hall at AutoPacific Inc. in Santa Ana, Calif.
The 2000 I30 will get a $50 million-plus ad push when it makes its debut this summer. Competitive Media Reporting said the I30 got a mere $3.8 million last year in measured media for product ads, with an additional $11.8 million spent on I30 lease ads.