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What The…? Mazda And Doner’s New Spot


Mazda North America has relaunched the Mazda 6 with a broadcast spot titled “Stadium.” It debuted during ESPN’s Monday Night Football. I happen to be in the market for a vehicle, so I watched the spot, before reading the Adweek article in its entirety. You can too. It’s above.

Rob Strasberg, EVP, CCO and the Doner agency is behind this one. Mike Nakashima, the client’s director of marketing, told Adweek that the target is women and men, 30 to 50. Okay, I’m in the target demo.

He also says: “Historically, the marketing tonality has been ‘fun to drive,’ which is still at the core of our brand. Now, we’re adding more rational, pragmatic reasons to buy.”

The commercial, oddly, doesn’t send any messaging to consumers about these pragmatic reasons. In fact, having a car enter a bleak futuristic arena where a queen rules from on high, is not pragmatic. Not even close. Maybe Nakashima doesn’t know what pragmatic means?

The copy doesn’t help. It reads in this order:

More after the jump…


“The all totally, completely, 100% new Mazda 6.” And then on successive title screens, “Bigger. Faster. Smarter.” Lets not get into the repetitive nature of that first line. Roll off the tongue it does not.

And this folks is what is wrong with car marketing. I don’t know the Mazda 5, so, the 6 is smarter and faster. Great, but I have no qualifiers, no reference points. And as I mentioned above, the message that there are rational reasons to buy this vehicle doesn’t translate. Everyone says their car is new. Tell me how! For the love of gawd.

The article goes on to say that Nakashima described his first project with Strasberg as “unusually productive.” While it’s great you guys liked working together, the execution was average at best and that is not a good thing.

Mazda sales are down 2 percent through August and the Mazda 6 is down 4 percent on the year. The company, today, dropped to its lowest point in seven years on the exchange. That means that yes, you’re getting crunched by the economy just like everyone else. It’s time to take stock and reassess. It’s time for Doner and Mazda to course correct. With the current shift away from sport utility vehicles, the mid-size car segment should gain some ground. Mazda! Doner! Don’t miss out. Be mavericks! Talk to consumers, don’t just flash the spinning tires like your competitors.

Right now, consumers are hemming in spending, worried about gas… how is it that faster, bigger is something you thought consumers would want to hear? There’s some great things going on for Mazda like being voted one of the most reliable cars in the marketplace or the advanced green-tech that their engineers are working on. Car geek blogs, which consumers tend to pass by until they’ve narrowed down their choice, are noting that the improved ability to slice through the wind” helps with fuel efficiency and by golly – safety! What mother doesn’t love that? What American citizen is not trying to cut down the gas bill?

The article does not go into ancillary advertising and marketing programs. I really hope there are some. The car, by all accounts, is more than a pretty face, so what’s with the commercial?

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