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Mitsubishi Motors and Deutsch Launch Second Phase Of Campaign for Endeavor S.U.V.

SpongeBob SquarePants Highlights Family Features; Expanding Product Line Creates Broader Brand Appeal

CYPRESS, Calif., July 14 -- Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) today announced the launch of phase two television advertising for the 2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor crossover sport utility vehicle. The latest iteration, created by Deutsch LA, combines the same dynamic and emotional visual imagery consistent with Mitsubishi Motors' energetic brand position with further emphasis on the vehicle's practical appeal and family features, underscored by a cameo appearance from the powerful iconic cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants. The new spot also highlights how as the Mitsubishi product line continues expanding and competing in new segments, the brand is reaching new customers in a wider demographic.

"The Endeavor campaign is evolving along our traditional marketing path of emphasizing a vehicle's emotional appeal based on style and design early in the campaign, then adding rational appeals based on comfort, versatility and a range of popular features," explained MMNA Sales Division President and COO Greg O'Neill. "SpongeBob's presence helps emphasize the rational appeal to families by highlighting Endeavor's DVD entertainment system and drawing attention to the spacious, well-appointed interior."

The commercial also shows off Endeavor's car-like handling qualities by opening with shots of the vehicle crossing a rough bridge grate with zero noticeable effect on the smooth ride. Describing the vehicle, the narrator observes: "Loaded from front to back, it's perfect for families." And then he rhetorically asks: "But who needs to know?" The implicit message is that no matter what stage of life you're in, you don't have to compromise your own spirit or sense of style to meet the practical needs for comfort, safety and value.

Featuring the same song from Endeavor's phase one commercials, "Horn Dog," by U.K. music group Overseer, the new creative installment breaks July 14, 2003 on national television and cable and is part of a larger campaign that began in March 2003 and will continue throughout the year.

"We think we've captured the energetic, upbeat mood and intensity of Endeavor in a way that will help a wide array of consumers connect with our brand," said Eric Hirshberg, Managing Partner/Executive Creative Director at Deutsch LA.

O'Neill explained that the evolution of Mitsubishi's popular marketing campaign directly parallels the brand's growing line of products. By year's end, the Mitsubishi brand will include 11 distinct models that appeal to a full range of consumer lifestyles.

"As the product line expands, we've been incorporating Mitsubishi's own distinctive youthful style, attitude and spirit into a broader range of products designed for every stage of someone's life," said O'Neill. "Our expanding appeal started last year with Outlander, is continuing now with Endeavor, and will be evident later this year in the all-new Lancer Sportback and a completely new Galant."

The five-passenger Endeavor joins the Outlander entry-level S.U.V. in Mitsubishi's growing line of versatile sport utilities, alongside the rugged yet luxurious Montero and the adventurous Montero Sport. Endeavor is powered by a responsive, 3.8-liter, V6 engine, offering either front-wheel-drive or full-time all-wheel-drive for improved wet-weather handling and mild off-road capability. The Endeavor ranges in price from a suggested retail base price of $25,597 to a fully-loaded suggested retail price of $33,497.

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) is responsible for all North American operations of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation. As a single company consolidated on Jan. 1, 2003, MMNA and its subsidiaries manufacture, distribute, finance and market Mitsubishi brand coupes, convertibles, sedans and sport utility vehicles through a network of nearly 700 dealers in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Mitsubishi Motors sold its first vehicle in the U.S. in 1981, and began building cars here in 1988 at its manufacturing facility in Normal, Ill. For more information, contact the Mitsubishi Motors News Bureau at (888) 560-6672.

Deutsch Inc. is a full-service integrated marketing and communications company. Part of the Interpublic Group of Companies (IPG), Deutsch works with blue-chip clients including Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., DIRECTV, Coors, Revlon, Snapple, Novartis, Bank of America, MCI and Tommy Hilfiger. Deutsch offers clients an array of services including advertising, direct marketing (directDeutsch), Interactive (iDeutsch), design (designDeutsch) and public relations, promotions, and events (Deutsch PR Promo Plus). Deutsch has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Toronto.