A second spot will hit the airwaves shortly, and should generate a few laughs. It will also underscore one of the critical elements of the initial ad: Mitsubishi's Japanese heritage. "That's something...our competitors have walked away from," contends Dave Schembri, the new marketing czar at Mitsubishi Motors North America. He may have a point, considering all the ads and PR spin we hear from the likes of Toyota, Honda and Nissan, promoting their U.S. assembly lines, made-for-America products, and the like. I'd be willing to bet there are plenty of young motorists who don't even know these companies are headquartered overseas.
But no matter how loudly you bang the -- Taiko -- drum, there's more than a little irony to the Mitsubishi campaign. Yes, there's a classic Japanese feel to the 2006, fourth-generation Eclipse, but it was styled in California, is being built in Illinois, and won't even be sold in Japan.