• Suzuki Launches New Brand Campaign - "Way of life"

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Following three years of record growth and on the heels of three major product introductions, American Suzuki Motor Corporation (ASMC) today launches a new brand campaign designed to more fully reflect its heritage as a company that builds exciting vehicles – from motorcycles to automobiles.

"With the launch of the Grand Vitara last year, followed by the all-new SX4 last month and the all-new XL7 next month, we felt the time was right for us to honestly evaluate our strengths as a company and to reflect those strengths in our communications," said Gene Brown, vice president of marketing and PR, ASMC. "At the core of the Suzuki brand lies the promise of exciting, fun-to-operate vehicles, and it’s a promise reflected in everything we offer, from our iconic motorcycles to these three all-new automobiles. With our new campaign, we are taking a significant first step to crystallize our reputation and image in the eyes of American consumers."

Suzuki’s new communication strategy reflects Americans’ widespread recognition and appreciation of the company’s motorcycles, and it also brings greater clarity to Suzuki’s "Way of Life" brand mantra, which promises vehicles that are designed for life enthusiasts – those who choose to live life to the fullest and not simply watch it go by.

One key element of the new strategy is an advertising campaign that broke Oct. 2 with two 15-second "teaser" spots announcing the upcoming launch of the all-new XL7, while also laying the foundation to link Suzuki’s motorcycles to its automobiles. The campaign also features four 30-second commercials that integrate the invigorating thrills of riding a Suzuki motorcycle, while showcasing the product strengths of Suzuki’s vehicles. As such, all broadcast advertising uses the themed mnemonic: "It’s gonna be a great ride," accompanied by Suzuki Automotive’s well-known "Way of Life" tagline. To subtly re-emphasize the point that the same company often thought of as a great motorcycle company also offers great automobiles, all spots end with the Suzuki logo "closing" as if it were a car door.

Developed in conjunction with the company’s advertising agency, Colby & Partners of Brea, Calif., the comprehensive campaign sets the stage for an indelible stamp on Suzuki’s brand identity as the company expands and improves its product line in 2007 and the years to come.

"If you entertain people, you get them to listen to your story. We were in the fortunate position of having a real story to tell, a question to put to the viewer, the idea that our cars and SUVs could be as much fun as our bikes," said Carmen Dorr, creative director of Colby & Partners.

The television campaign targets 25- to 54-year-old men and women and will appear on major networks skewing toward active-lifestyle programming including ESPN’s "Monday Night Football," the Major League Baseball playoffs on FOX and regional college football games throughout the country. Additional cable support starts at the end of October and includes programming on ABC Family, Comedy Central, CNN, Lifetime, A&E, TBS, TNT, USA and VH1.

The broadcast ad spots are augmented by a series of print ads to further support Suzuki’s "Way of Life" positioning, which will be featured in active lifestyle publications such as Men’s Fitness, Men’s Journal, ESPN, Outside, National Geographic Adventure, Shape and Surfer. Additional print support for SX4 spans several auto enthusiast publications including Sport Compact Car, Super Street and Import Tuner, and to reinforce the sophisticated styling and packaging of the XL7, Suzuki will advertise in publications such as Money, People, Popular Science, Real Simple and Time.

In addition to a dedicated television and print campaign, Suzuki also will launch a series of in-cinema and in-flight print and television efforts to support its all-new XL7. In December, the company will release a one-minute film trailer to be aired in movie theaters in key markets nationwide, as well as on the Internet. The XL7, along with the entire model line, will be featured in "The Briefcase," an espionage action-thriller produced as an extension of Suzuki’s new television ad campaign.

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