American Suzuki selects Siltanen

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American Suzuki Motor Corp. has selected Siltanen & Partners as the US advertising agency of record for its auto­motive division.

Siltanen will handle print, television and interactive adverting for the division. It replaces Dentsu Next, which will continue to work with American Suzuki's motor­cycle and ATV divisions.

Suzuki selected Siltanen after it worked on pilot campaigns for the Grand Vitara compact SUV and for its new truck, the Equator.

“We've been evolving Suzuki into a more lifestyle oriented brand,” said Gene Brown, VP for marketing, PR and product plan­ning for American Suzuki.

According to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, American Suzuki's 2007 ad spend (exclud­ing online ad spend) for its auto division was approximately $122 million.

American Suzuki's auto division has gradually moved more of its advertising budget online, according to Brown.

“The auto industry may not be leading the charge, but we have shifted our overall media mix more significantly towards inter­active than previously,” Brown said.

The Grand Vitara and Equator cam­paigns will launch later this year, possibly in the fall and winter, said Tim Murphy, president of Siltanen & Partners Adver­tising. He declined to discuss specifics of the campaigns, but said, “We're working the approach that you don't need the big behemoth vehicles to get around.”

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