SUZUKI’S BIG GAME PLAY

American Suzuki Motor took the wraps off its commercial for this year’s Super Bowl this morning. The commercial, from Siltanen & Partners, in El Segundo, California, spotlights the all-wheel-drive version of the 2012 Kizashi sedan.

What better place to do that than in the snow- -frozen ice to be specific. The commercial was shot in one day at Canada’s frozen Spray Lake outside of Canmore, Alberta and stars two actual Intuit Eskimos from Alaska. They were chosen via teleconference auditions from California. Not a lot of dialogue in the spot. But there are some subtitles.

Suzuki says the commercial, called “Sled,” is aimed at males, and will continue to run after the Super Bowl Feb. 5 as part of the automaker’s new marketing campaign set to break in March.

Take a look

“This is a familiar story told in a unique way,” Rob Siltanen, chairman and chief creative officer of Suzuki’s Marina Del Rey ad agency, told me.

I agree. It’s a fun commercial that spotlights the sedan’s all-wheel drive. What’s NOT to like about the smiling male Eskimo jamming to his tunes- along with his sled dogs. Suzuki is going for extra gusto beyond just the Big Game, posting the commercial on its YouTube channel as well as on its Facebook page.

Suzuki first released the spot in late January with original music called “Party Still Jumpin” created by Ben Kahle, even as it was holding eleventh-hour negotiations with 50 Cent. The deal with the rapper was finally inked and Suzuki updated the spot.

Budget-restrained Suzuki bought air time in 21 markets for the spot. The one-minute version will air in 11 of those 21 markets; a slimmed-down :30 will appear in the others.

Although Suzuki’s new-vehicle sales rose by 11% last year vs. 2010, the tally was a mere 26,619 units.

MAKING TRACKS : Shockingly, Suzuki eliminated the position of marketing and  product planning director last Friday, January 20. That means Steve Younan left the company after six years. Before joining Suzuki, Younan spent 15 years at Nissan North America, where he rose to senior marketing manager and vehicle line marketing on trucks. Someone should pluck him up quickly.

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