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EJE Awaiting Suzuki’s Ad Agency Selection For Worldwide Account

Local ad agency is among seven worldwide vying for one of the Japanese automaker’s vehicle accounts


March 17, 2005
Copyright © 2005 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

Executives at local advertising agency EJE Sociedad Publicitaria (EJE) are among those of seven agencies worldwide who competed and are anxiously awaiting the decision by Suzuki Motor Corp. officials in Japan as to which will develop the global campaign strategy for the world launch of one of Suzuki’s vehicles.

Suzuki invited EJE to its headquarters in Hamamatsu, Japan, last month to participate along with six other ad agencies from the U.S. mainland, England, France, Spain, Germany, and Italy for a chance to nab the important global account. The invitation came after the success achieved by EJE during the past two years handling Suzuki advertising in Puerto Rico. The local ad agency helped the Japanese automaker achieve third place in total auto sales with only three vehicles in its lineup: the Vitara and XL-7 sport utility vehicles (SUVs), and the Aerio, sedan and wagon.

Last year, Suzuki sold 12,743 vehicles in Puerto Rico, up 6.7% from 2003, and enjoys a 9.5% market share.

"Regardless of whether or not we win the account, the mere fact we were considered is an award in itself and a vote of confidence for the creative work we’ve done and the capacity of Puerto Rican agencies to produce world-class ads," EJE founding partner & Creative Director Enrique Renta told CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. "We’re talking about competing against the world powers in advertising."

Renta and his creative team flew to Japan three weeks ago, where they and the six other teams were each allotted 20 minutes to make their creative presentations during a very structured and well-organized process, he said.

Suzuki officials in Japan are currently evaluating all the presentations, which were videotaped, and a final decision is expected sometime this month, Renta said. "The wait doesn’t surprise me because they [Suzuki officials in Japan] are very strict and will take their time before announcing their decision," commented the EJE partner. "Regardless of the outcome, it is satisfying to know your work is appreciated."

"We spent more time flying to the presentation than the time we stayed in Japan," Renta recalled. "Nevertheless, the experience has given us the opportunity to consolidate our relationship with Suzuki in Japan and to understand a little more about its operations and the car business." The local team left San Juan on a Monday, arrived in Tokyo Tuesday evening, practiced their presentation on Wednesday, made their presentation on Thursday, left Tokyo on Friday, and arrived in San Juan on Saturday.

Timothy Vélez, sales & marketing manager for local Suzuki distributor Suzuki del Caribe, conceded, "Our advertising has proved to be an important factor in establishing Suzuki as a major brand in Puerto Rico, and we are definitely pleased it has been recognized worldwide."

Suzuki, which is 20% owned by US auto giant General Motors Corp., is Japan’s fourth-largest automaker in terms of market capitalization, with nearly $17.23 billion in annual revenue. The company has manufacturing operations in 20 countries, and sells its vehicles through 152 automotive distributors in some 126 countries. Local distributor Suzuki del Caribe Inc. was established in San Juan in 1979. Today, it has 21 dealers throughout the island and 72 full-time employees. In the past five years, Suzuki has tripled sales in Puerto Rico.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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