Mitsubishi Plays Emotive Card in #FirstRide Videos

To emphasize the safety features of its 2014 Outlander model, Mitsubishi created a series of videos showing newborn babies taking their #FirstRide home from the hospital.

The participating New York families rode in a fully equipped 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander, which the brand says is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick+ vehicle that was piloted by professional drivers.

“Their touching personal stories have become a series of short Web films that contrast the craziness of the streets of the big city, with the calm, precious moments shared between three newborns and their parents,” the brand says.

A video overview of the #FirstRide experience has about 3,200 views as of April 16.

“I think we were really looking for authentic stories,” says Francine Harsini, director of marketing at Mitsubishi Motors North America, of the families the brand chose to feature. “We wanted to highlight families who were interesting…and we wanted that emotional connection to come through.”

According to Harsini, these stories resonate with many consumers and are relatable to a wide audience beyond just new parents.

The brand is using the hashtag #FirstRide to talk about the effort on Facebook and Twitter, where it has 1.4 million likes and 100,000 followers, respectively.

“It’s not just about the brand, it’s that emotional connection and putting the brand to work in the day to day – that’s what gets people talking,” Harsini says. “It’s not just about impressions, it’s about those campaigns that reach beyond that and how to make things water-cooler talk and how to get consumers talking about the brand beyond TV spots.”

Calling these branded video series “all the rage in brand marketing circles when it comes to video these days,” Dan Drescher, vice president of national advertising sales at Beachfront Media, says video series allow brands to include consumers in meaningful conversations “that resonate with them and connect them at a much deeper level emotionally with your band.”

In addition, tying the hyper-emotional experience of bringing a child home from the hospital to the emotion of wanting to protect a baby from harm and to Mitsubishi’s main advertising message of the Outlander’s safety features is a “pretty clever idea overall,” Drescher adds.

The 2014 Outlander was one of four vehicles in the Small SUV category to receive the Top Safety Pick+ designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Mitsubishi says this was due to performance in various crash testing criteria as well as the Outlander’s optional radar-based Forward Collision Mitigation accident/impact reduction technology.

With a starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of about $23,000, the seven-passenger Outlander comes with standard safety features like Hill Start Assist; seven air bags including driver’s side knee air bag, Active Stability Control with Traction Control Logic, and Patented Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution energy-absorbing body/chassis safety cell technology, Mitsubishi says.

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