New Mazda campaign to focus on brand values

The brand's latest marketing efforts look to build brand awareness outside of its long-running 'Zoom Zoom' tagline, Mazda CMO Don Romano says.

When Mazda CMO Don Romano noticed an increasing tendency for people to think he worked for a US-based car company, he knew it was time to tell the Mazda story beyond just “Zoom, Zoom.”

“Mazda launched the ‘Zoom, Zoom’ campaign in 2000, which was focused on the performance of Mazda’s vehicles, and as a result, sales grew and the business grew. But we reached a plateau where people didn’t know about the company beyond that,” he says.

The need to increase recognition of the brand’s values and heritage, tied with the upcoming launch of the first Mazda vehicle made with SkyActiv technology (which promises to increase fuel economy and performance), meant it was time for a new campaign.

With a media buy and creative from the Toronto office of JWT, Romano says Mazda’s new campaign, titled ‘Anthem,’ focuses on the history and values of the car company rather than a product launch, targeting a specific psychographic rather than a traditional demographic.

“Mazda has previously been focused on Gen Y, or Gen X – we have the youngest demographic of any of the major dealers,” he says. “We are broadening that to include people who are young at heart, people who buy cars because they are fun to drive.”

The campaign includes 30- and 60-second commercials airing during ratings superstars, including Desperate Housewives, CSI New York and Dancing with the Stars, as well as in cinemas before movies such as Fast Five, Water for Elephants and Something Borrowed.

It also includes OOH superboards, digital superboards, horizontal posters and digital posters in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal; banner ads on sites including MSN and AOL; videos on Mazda’s YouTube and Facebook pages; and an experiential component that Romano says brings the manufacturing process to the consumer.

“I would love to take consumers to our production plant in Hiroshima but I can’t, so I am bringing it to them,” he says. “We are going to be offering driving events, and technology activations with the upcoming SkyActiv release. We will be walking people through the new technology and why it works.”