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Mitsubishi’s Redesigned Eclipse Debuts in Blaze of Advertising

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America is launching its redesigned Eclipse sports coupe today with the biggest advertising campaign in the company’s history.

The $35-million-plus effort will play out in the media through November, highlighted by a series of television ads directed by Mikael Solomon, the cinematographer whose special effects made fire a leading co-star of Ron Howard’s 1992 film “Backdraft.”

True to Solomon’s background, the first of the four commercials features scenes of the new Eclipse rising from the fiery solar surface during a total eclipse of the sun and then plummeting to earth as a blazing comet.

The theme is a constant in each commercial, a blending of computer-drawn images, live action and special effects shot in the desert near Moab, Utah, said Holly Hood, art director for Mitsubishi’s ad agency, G2.

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G2 is the Huntington Beach-based subsidiary of New York’s Grey Advertising that was formed last year to handle Mitsubishi’s $100-million-plus ad account. Previously, Grey had operated a branch office in Orange County.

In addition to the television spots, the model launch includes national print, radio and billboard campaigns as well as several promotional tie-ins with MTV. Mitsubishi is a sponsor of the MTV Video Awards to be broadcast Sept. 8 and also will sponsor the rock video channel’s summer “Beach House” program through August.

Jon Stone, G2 creative director, said the campaign is aimed at the Eclipse target market of 18- to 34-year-olds and will continue after the first four ads have been aired with the further journeys of the Eclipse, “this remarkable creature,” after it has landed on earth.

The initial television ad, “Creation,” premieres today on the three largest broadcast networks and on MTV.

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The 1995 model is a complete redesign of the original Eclipse that was introduced in 1989.


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