Birth of a tagline - Mitsubishi brings the confusion

Drive@earth. Sounds an awful lot like shorthand for "run this bizatch into the ground," but Mitsubishi has an official explanation for its new tagline. Launching this summer in Japan, "Drive@earth" will be used by Mitsubishi in all markets. The tagline, which looks like an intern tacked it below the logo in Microsoft Word ten minutes ago, is meant to carry dual meanings. The first thing Mitsubishi wants to convey is the idea that its automobiles, and their four-wheeling legacy, allow people to visit virtually any point on the earth.
Secondly, and possibly in diametric opposition to the first point, the slogan signals a commitment by the automaker to environmental responsibility. It's a fine line to walk between traipsing across the globe and not destroying sand dunes or clubbing baby seals while excreting vast amounts of greenhouse gasses, but Mitsubishi is committing to continued development of its environmentally friendly technologies, like the iMiEV that would be an ideal commuter vehicle for those poor slobs stuck in gridlock. No word on whether the new tagline signals the end of Mitsubishi's run of TV spots using music cuts that get stuck in your head and portray people having more fun than a flume ride. Press release after the jump

[Source: Mitsubishi]

TOKYO, June 18, 2008 - Today Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) announced a new global tagline in order to clarify across all markets its direction for the future. The tagline, "Drive@earth," will be launched first in Japan during the summer of 2008, and is intended to convey two major themes:

First, Drive@earth means that automobiles connect us to the world. Mitsubishi's 4WD legacy has catapulted a generation of drivers to every corner of the earth, from desert dunes to city streets. Rally-tested toughness, performance and reliability make Mitsubishi Motors a trusted name on five continents. Through this trust, Mitsubishi vehicles forge a connection to customers, to communities, and ultimately to the natural world around us.

Second, Drive@earth means a new emphasis on environmental issues. It is the simple recognition that no enterprise - automotive or otherwise - makes sense without the context of a healthy planet. With climate change and dwindling oil reserves on the minds of drivers around the world, automakers have a special responsibility. MMC sets as its ideal the synergy between dynamic and environmental performance, and will continue to develop technologies - such as the zero-emissions i MiEV electric vehicle - that show as much care for the environment outside as for the occupants within.

The new tagline acts as a bridge between the company's heritage and its future. Launched in this, the first year of MMC's post-revitalization business plan, Drive@earth is an announcement of the company's renewed focus, and a symbol of its intention to build a new era of sustainable partnership.

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