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Joe Isuzu is Back!!!
February 27, 2001 1:32 PM   Subscribe

Joe Isuzu is Back!!! "He is not going to be this smarmy, lying, bad car salesman person. He is going to be more corporate."
posted by darren (17 comments total)

 
There's a difference?
posted by harmful at 1:44 PM on February 27, 2001


oh boy...
posted by Hackworth at 1:44 PM on February 27, 2001


After such a long absence, he'll certainly be hungry for fresh souls. I suggest we offer up the worse-than--a-migraine little Pepsi girl for his consumption.
posted by Skot at 1:59 PM on February 27, 2001


This is slightly off-subject, but CNN (in the above link) has a poll asking people if they are more likely to test-drive an Isuzu now that Joe Isuzu is back, and 41% -- currently -- say YES. Who are these people?
posted by MarkAnd at 2:11 PM on February 27, 2001


After such a long absence, he'll certainly be hungry for fresh souls. I suggest we offer up the worse-than--a-migraine little Pepsi girl for his consumption.

Capital idea. As long as we're cleaning out the old Celebrity Pitchperson closet, let's not forget K.I.S.S. Not only are they guilty of sucking a hole through the fabric of space and time with their "music", but in their most recent Pepsi commercial, they share the stage with the above-mentioned kid.

There is only one conclusion that I can draw from this unyholy union:

My parents were right. K.I.S.S. really DOES stand for "Knights In Satan's Service".
posted by Optamystic at 2:51 PM on February 27, 2001


Don't forget that you can also get a KISS pinball game for your PC.

I liked Joe Isuzu, although some of it might just be classified under nostalgia. I severely dislike Isuzu's advertising claiming they don't sell cars; they sell plenty of cars, just not on this continent.
posted by hijinx at 3:16 PM on February 27, 2001


This is slightly off-subject, but CNN (in the above link) has a poll asking people if they are more likely to test-drive an Isuzu now that Joe Isuzu is back, and 41% -- currently -- say YES. Who are these people?

one of those people was me... i'm not in the market for a new car, but i thought isuzu had gone out of business. knowing they're still selling cars increases the odds of my testing one out many-fold.
posted by o2b at 3:35 PM on February 27, 2001


If Joe isn't a lying slimy car salesman any more, what's the POINT? That was what made him funny!
posted by wiremommy at 5:54 PM on February 27, 2001


Joe Isuzu is a throwback to when they were a low-end company. I think it's a bit desperate, actually; I'd been wondering where their ads had gone.

I had an Amigo for a while, and I can't tell you how much I loved that truck. (I have a Pathfinder that I hope to get rid of this spring once I'm employed full-time again.) I liked the "we don't sell cars" ads. Maybe it only referred to the US subsidiary but it was a fun approach to highlight how they'd concentrated on a market segment.

Oh, and I know that most four-by owners considered it an unholy bane, but I loved that "Slinky Song" Amigo ad.

o2b, in North America, the only available Isuzu models are the Trooper, the Rodeo, the Amigo (which is a short-bed Rodeo), and the Vehicross (which is a sporty Amigo built on the Trooper bed). Isuzu is also developing the next-generation base pickup with GM and supplies GM with engines and other components. Since they're basically a subsidiary of GM these days, and GM already has too many brands (shutting down Oldsmobile, Buick maybe up next), there's little chance of Isuzu selling cars anytime soon.
posted by dhartung at 6:04 PM on February 27, 2001


I don't know if I'd buy an Isuzu in the States, but I drove a Trooper all over Kenya, and it was great. I especially loved waving at all the broken-down Land Rover drivers!
posted by rodii at 8:12 PM on February 27, 2001


I liked the "we don't sell cars" ads.

I didn't like them, myself, because they pegged cars as being limited to shopping malls, slow drivers, etc. when in reality, the vast majority of SUVs are never used for their possible functionality.

IOW, they're status symbols for the vast majority. That campaign fed right into that, and that's why I didn't care for it.
posted by hijinx at 8:15 PM on February 27, 2001


The Isuzu "liar" is considered one of the great ad campaigns in terms of effectiveness and creativity. The fact that it was based on a contemporary Saturday Night Live skit is considered irrelevant. The spots WERE brilliantly done, but it's sad that you can be hailed as an innovator when everyone simultaneously acknowledges that you "borrowed" the concept. Similarly, last year some spots based on a scene in Woody Allen's Annie Hall were hailed for their brilliant concept (i.e., Allen's, of 20+ years ago).
posted by Zeldman at 9:02 PM on February 27, 2001


Since they're basically a subsidiary of GM these days, and GM already has too many brands (shutting down Oldsmobile, Buick maybe up next), there's little chance of Isuzu selling cars anytime soon.

Maybe I read the last paragraph wrong.
The idea is to tone down Joe just in time for the rollout of the Axiom, Isuzu's first automobile launch since 1998. Joe will show off the car in the commercials but he won't upstage it, said Isuzu chief operating officer Duke Hale, who joined Isuzu late last year.

This is a car no? They refer to it as a car and an automobile.


posted by redleaf at 10:23 PM on February 27, 2001


There is only one conclusion that I can draw from this unyholy union: K.I.S.S. really DOES stand for "Knights In Satan's Service".

My cousin is dating Ace Frehley's daughter. Make of that what you will. ;)
posted by aaron at 11:24 PM on February 27, 2001



The Isuzu "liar" is considered one of the great ad campaigns in terms of effectiveness and creativity. The fact that it was based on a contemporary Saturday Night Live skit is considered irrelevant.

Having worked for Jerry Della Femina for years, and being aware that his ad agency at the time created the Joe Isuzu concept, I'm here to tell you Jerry, a die-hard ad guy from the days when ad guys were still ad guys, Jerry is still using those ads in the reel he shows new clients. They still work.

David Leisure makes some comments on the original Joe Isuzu phenomenon here.
posted by Mo Nickels at 12:23 AM on February 28, 2001


Actually Zeldman, the Isuzu campaign was a major flop, and is taught in most marketing classes (along the the recent Taco Bell dog ad) as an example of an ad campaign overshadowing the product, and how that doesn't help sales.

During the three years the campaign ran, Isuzu sales remained more or less flat.

If you want to check out an effective auto campaign on TV, try KIA. KIA's TV ads have led the company to have not only sky-rocketing sales, but incredibly high name visibility for such a small company.
posted by bgluckman at 7:13 AM on February 28, 2001


Actually, while the Axiom is technically a hybrid, most people looking at one would term it a sport-utility vehicle. Check it out here. Consider it in the same class as the car-based SUVs e.g. Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, except maybe a bit tougher. Really, it's a truck with some car-like technology. Isuzu has some pretty advanced tech in the area of creating low-volume vehicle runs, so they can produce some pretty specialized vehicles (like the Vehicross) that are practically right off the concept car roundtable.

hijinx, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. I have a truck because I camp (well, less often than I'd like) and haul stuff back and forth a lot. I like owning a truck for intrinsic reasons. I'm not alone: people who like trucks often don't like cars. They were differentiating themselves from companies like Honda that had "just" gotten into the SUV market by throwing a truck on a car body. So they were selling to their demographic. Is that evil? If you like foreign films and an ad for the latest summer explosion blockbuster uses the tagline, "We don't need subtitles", are you personally insulted? I think you're taking advertising a bit too seriously. Personally, I thought it was an effective campaign, but it clearly didn't build sales the way they'd hoped.
posted by dhartung at 9:09 AM on February 28, 2001


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