Mitsubishi Canada launches Electriphobia campaign

Mitsubishi-Electriphobia_i01 Vowing to eradicate any lingering anxieties of electric vehicles, Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada (MMSCAN) is launching its tongue-in-cheek Electriphobia Research Institute at the 2012 Green Living Show.

The fictitious “Institute” pokes fun at common misperceptions about electric cars and aims to rid Canadians of “the shocking new fear sweeping the nation.” A unique approach to electric vehicle (EV) awareness, “Electriphobia” is a web-based campaign that will debut on April 16 – highlights were showcased for media today at North America’s largest green consumer show.

Developed by Mitsubishi’s agency-of-record, john st. advertising, the Electriphobia campaign tackles some common misperceptions surrounding electric vehicles – from the fear of electrocution to tailpipe anxiety to coming to grips with no engine noise. It features a reluctant test subject and the Institute’s lab-coated “scientist” who prescribes various cures.

“The objective is to raise awareness about electric vehicles and share truths about the gamechanging technology in our all-new i-MiEV pure electric vehicle. Through the ‘Institute’ we want to prepare EV consumers for the experience of never again visiting a gas station, having a tailpipe, or changing the oil,” said Peter Renz, director of marketing at MMSCAN.

“For Mitsubishi the campaign is timely, coinciding with the recent launch of our all-new 2012 i-MiEV hatchback. i-MiEV is one of only two pure electric vehicles available in Canada and that makes it a real technological innovation, requiring an innovative marketing approach,” he added.

Stephen Jurisic, co-creative director at john st. noted: “EVs are still largely misunderstood. We wanted Canadians to really learn about the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and, to do that, we had to get them to spend some time on the website. So making it entertaining and fun as well as informative was crucial.”

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV is gaining traction among Canadian consumers and fleet operators. Fourteen deliveries in March brought total i-MiEV sales to 69 units since mid-December. British Columbia’s Saanich Police Department, the city of Calgary, Saskatchewan’s SaskPower and Hydro-Qu├ębec are among the early adopters to have purchased the i-MiEV.

Far from a fleet vehicle, most i-MiEV sales have been to consumers. To date, MMSCAN has named 30 certified i-MiEV dealerships and expects that number to grow in 2012.