Mazda recently launched an integration with the new Paramount "Star Trek" flick to tout the 2014 Mazda6. The partnership, similar to last year's integration with Universal's "The Lorax," is but a space dinghy next to the marketing enterprise the company will embark upon next month. The ad juggernaut, "Game Changers," is going to be the biggest integrated campaign for Mazda since the company's Irvine, Calif.-based U.S. sales division launched "Zoom-Zoom" with the first-gen Mazda6 sedan back in 2000.
The message: Mazda, like other creators, innovators and inventors changes the automotive script. The in-cinema, television, print, digital, and out-of-home campaign splits focus between Mazda products and people like mega-wave surfer Laird Hamilton; high jumper Dick Fosbury, inventor of the "Fosbury Flop" style of going over the bar facing belly-up instead of face down; and Mary Quant, inventor of the miniskirt.
The automaker, in a press briefing last month, said the people featured in the campaign evince "Conviction, Courage and Creativity."
The focus is on Mazda today, but the innovation theme certainly mines, if only implicitly, Mazda mythology as the only automaker to employ the Wankel rotary engine in mass-production vehicles. That association is probably part of the collective unconscious at this point, though the rotary is pretty much gone (though it did return -- perhaps a curtain call -- in 2004 with the RX-8 sports coupe.)
The “Game Changers” effort, besides touting the 2014 Mazda6 also spotlights such Mazda engineering feats as the SkyActiv low emission, fuel-efficiency powertrain introduced last year for the 2013 Mazda CX-5 crossover, and Mazda’s fluid "Kodo" design language. The effort, via Costa Mesa, Calif.-based WPP division Garage Team Mazda retains the "Zoom-Zoom" tagline.
The media strategy: "big voices, big places," with ad placement around tentpole must-see events like the premier and finale of "American Idol." Out of home is at places like Sunset Blvd and Times Square. There is also sports-broadcast integration.