DETROIT - Mike DiGiovanni has a tough job: Turn the tough-guy Hummer brand into one that typical upscale motorists would consider for their driveway.
So the ad campaign for the second addition to the Hummer family - the smaller H2 - is to present the truck in a kinder, gentler way - but still with attitude.
DiGiovanni, Hummer's general manager, knows that if he is to reach his goal of 17,000 H2 sales this year and 40,000 next year, he must reach young buyers and women.
"Hummer is authentic, rugged, tough," DiGiovanni said. "With H2, we want to move more toward prestigious."
The H2, which has a base price of $48,800 including destination, went on sale Monday, July 1, accompanied by print, outdoor and Internet advertising. Three TV commercials will start in mid-August.
The division is targeting 30- to 44-year-olds with an annual income of at least $150,000, said Liz Vanzura, Hummer's advertising director. Vanzura expects 25 percent of the buyers for the H2 to be women, compared with 10 percent for the bigger H1.
All the advertising uses a yellow H2 on a blue background with the Hummer tag line "Like nothing else." Print copy was developed for the publication in which the ad appears. For example, an ad with the line "Threaten the men in your office in a whole new way" will appear in Vanity Fair. Dealers will get newspaper and outdoor ads that they can customize.
Vanzura would not disclose media spending but said it will be competitive with similar truck launches. Land Rover, for example, spent an estimated $30 million to $40 million each advertising its new Discovery and Freelander models.
The H2 also will be featured in at least the first season of CBS' "CSI: Miami," and the division has committed $13 million in cash and vehicles over the next six years to sponsor the Inner-City Games Foundation in Santa Monica, Calif., of which actor Arnold Schwarzenegger is chairman.
The foundation works in 15 U.S. inner-city areas, supporting after-school programs in arts, science, computers and sports.