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Mitsubishi Motors Australia was founded in 1980 and today employs more than 200 people nationally. Mitsubishi is one of Australia’s most widely recognised car manufacturers, with more than 11 million people across the globe driving its vehicles.

The new look 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander was launched on 11 October 2009. The four-wheel drive is a versatile sport utility vehicle (SUV) packed full of technology features suited to an active lifestyle. The four-wheel drive is targeted at someone who needs to get around town, but who also enjoys a comfortable ride for a weekend getaway.

The 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander campaign was aimed at Australians living in metropolitan areas aged 30 to 50 who are married or in a de facto relationship with no children or children under five.

Mitsubishi worked with Clemenger BBDO to develop a TVC for the launch, which involves a couple zipping around the city in their Outlander, with all the latest in-car gadgets, and enjoying some time away from the city. The TVC finishes with the tag line ‘Love that car’.

Campaign: 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander
Client: Mitsubishi Motors Australia
Creative agency: Clemenger BBDO
Digital agency: Mediaedge:cia


Mediaedge:cia (MEC) is Mitsubishi’s media agency and managed the Outlander campaign. There were two objectives for the digital component: first, to maximise the reach of the TVC, and second to provide further information to qualified leads when they were searching for it online.

While the television campaign built awareness of the Outlander among its core target audience, the digital campaign built the volume of qualified leads by providing an avenue for interested prospective customers to continue their journey to purchase.


When deciding whether to integrate a digital component in its above the line campaign, Mitsubishi used consumer research insights pointing to changing behaviours among Australian auto purchasers.

Research conducted by Netpop Research (on behalf of Google Australia) through a survey of 501 Australian adult new car buyers (55% male, 45% female) and 510 used car buyers (51%, 49% female), shows that, when making their decision to buy a car, 88% of consumers use the internet at some stage to research their decision, while 44% of new car buyers watch an online video.

Guillaume Goudal, digital strategy director of MEC, says, “We considered several online connection points including traditional banner ads, classifieds, mobile, social media, electronic direct marketing, search engine marketing and the list goes on. The challenge is getting the balance right between the channel’s reach, the level of engagement possible and of course the cost-effectiveness. We needed to find the best tactic to reach the most prospects and effectively address their expectations.”

MEC decided to reach the Outlander’s target audience through YouTube’s newly launched tool, Promoted Videos. The demographic of YouTube users is broad, making it a mainstream medium, and MEC was confident that the Outlander’s potential purchasers were using it to inform their new car purchase. According to YouTube, 64% of car buying decision-makers actively seek out related product content.

Promoted Videos matches videos to relevant YouTube search results, similar to Google AdWords on Google.com. Marketers can purchase keywords relevant to the content of their video – for example, ‘new cars’ – and their ad will appear next to YouTube search results for those keywords.

Like AdWords, marketers pay only when someone clicks on their video ad and the price a marketer pays is determined by an auction that occurs every time a user hits the search button.

“When consumers conduct research for a car, they’re no longer just interested in reading a review or product release. They want to ‘see’ the car before they walk into the dealership – video is a great way to meet this desire. Because we were the first car manufacturer in Australia to use YouTube Promoted Videos, we had the chance to achieve prominent placing in the sponsored section of YouTube search results pages,” explains Goudal.


Once MEC and Mitsubishi decided YouTube was an appropriate channel to target potential Outlander customers – it was a matter of selecting keywords and setting a daily budget to promote the video. MEC has managed Mitsubishi’s AdWords campaign for three years, so had a strong list of AdWords keywords that Goudal and his team were able to draw from.

“Setting up the Promoted Video campaign was very similar to using AdWords. We already had our optimised search terms so the only other thing we needed to do was set our budget and wait to see the results,” says Goudal.

The campaign went live on the same day the TVC began screening on free-to-air channels, which ran for three months.

“The beauty of this medium, and how it differs from other online channels, is that it doesn’t try to convince unqualified visitors to watch the TVC. There are no other drivers to the ad other than people’s existing curiosity,” asserts Goudal.

“Those consumers who were interested in the Outlander were actively seeking the video, and because Mitsubishi only paid when people clicked on the ad, we were certain that the campaign budget was being used on qualified prospects. As it was the first time using a new tool, this was a useful strategy in seeing what YouTube was capable of by way of connecting users with the brand.”


Of the 6972 people who viewed the TVC on YouTube, 72% found the video through YouTube Promoted Videos. There were spikes in the popularity of the video, which coincided with when the TVC was in high circulation on-air. 

Of those who viewed the video, the majority were aged 30 to 50 years. Mitsubishi accessed these results by using YouTube Insights, available to anyone who uploads a video.

During the period that the TVC was on YouTube Promoted Videos, the click-through rate from YouTube to Mitsubishi’s Australian website was double the market average. Mitsubishi had an impressive increase in the referral rate from YouTube to its local site, with the Outlander video quickly becoming the number 23 referrer.

Most importantly, YouTube Insights shows that the audience’s engagement levels were high, with a majority viewing 100% of the 32-second video. 

“It is generally considered that an audience’s attention cannot be retained for more than 12 to 15 seconds with a rich media video banner. This effectively suggests that Promoted Videos helped Mitsubishi to double the engagement time with the Outlander’s target audience,” Goudal explains.

MEC estimates that if it was to roll out YouTube Promoted Video activity to every Mitsubishi brand over a year, YouTube would drive up to 10% of traffic to the auto manufacturer’s local website.

“According to Roy Morgan, in the next couple of years, Gen Y will represent 25 to 30% of the target audience of most manufacturers, so it is important to proactively adjust the way we target these people right now,” says Goudal.


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