Posted by: David Kiley on February 11, 2008
Global Vehicles, the Georgia-based company that plans to launch Mahindra branded pickup trucks and SUVs next year has tapped New York-based Strawberry Frog as its ad agency of record.
GV is the importer of vehicles from Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra, India’s biggest maker of pickups and SUVs. The company will have a lot to overcome in launching in the U.S.(see my November 2005 story) where sales of such vehicles are under great pressure from a housing bust and an economy flirting with Recession. The company is hoping, though, that offering high fuel economy diesel engines as standard equipment for the three vehicles it plans to launch next year will be a successful unique selling proposition.
Strawberry Frog is known in the U.S. for handling Sam’s Club, Fosters Beer, Morgan Stanley , Frito-Lay and Microsoft. It previously handled Heineken. The agency was a finalist in last year’s review for Hyundai’s U.S. account. And internationally, it’s Amsterdam office had handled Mitsubishi’s European ad account, as well as Daimler-Benz’s Smart Car.
“StrawberryFrog joins us at an exciting time as we launch Mahindra, the first Indian vehicle to enter the U.S. market,” said GV president Bill Goetze. “Just as Mahindra enjoys a worldwide reputation for quality and innovation, StrawberryFrog’s reputation for creativity and strategic thinking will help us position Mahindra as a leader in innovative automotive marketing and advertising.”
“StrawberryFrog was the best choice as we look to the future, make plans for our U.S. launch and respond to the constantly changing environment in automotive marketing,” Goetze said. The agency relationship is effective immediately.
GV has been meeting with ad agencies for a few months, including Atlanta-based Ross Media and Minneapolis-based Brew.
Much of GV's ad work for Mahindra is going to be Internet-based to launch, along with tactical print ads managed through the nearly 300 dealers who have signed up to sell the vehicles in 50 states.
American consumers will be able to choose from among three Mahindra vehicles: the Scorpio, a rugged, luxurious SUV; and a pickup truck, offered in both two-door and four-door models.
“There’s something very special about representing Mahindra, the innovative automotive brand, the first to enter the U.S. market from India,” said Scott Goodson, CEO of StrawberryFrog. “It’s been no secret that we've wanted a major car account in the USA, and we look forward to our partnership with Global Vehicles and Mahindra.”