The redesigned, refined, Mazda3 is a global car that got a global launch on Wednesday, as the automaker streamed the morning reveal and an evening party in New York celebrating the car's launch. The happening, in New York's Chelsea neighborhood, was mirrored with events in Melbourne, St. Petersburg, Istanbul and London.
The company partnered with Microsoft's Xbox platform to stream it on Xbox Live.
Said Russell Wager, VP of marketing: "This is worldwide; for every event we are taking footage and, as we speak we are editing them together in real-time and tonight [Wednesday]." He told Marketing Daily that at 9 p.m. the company planned to roll out an edited version streaming live on Xbox along with a live concert later on the roof of the studio space on West 22nd Street, where the 2014 Mazda3 was unveiled.
The event featured indie band Metric, "which is popular with a younger group of people," he noted -- adding that Xbox is also popular with people in their 20s and 30s. While the concert streamed live Wednesday night, it obviously fell at different times around the world. "If people don't stay up to watch it, it will be on Xbox for 48 hours, and after that we will take it, edit it down and put it on each country's Mazda Web site," he said.
Mazda talked to Microsoft about its streaming technology for the global launch, per Wager, who said the reveal had originally been planned as a traditional media event at the Australian International Auto Show in Melbourne, where last year Mazda launched the CX-9 SUV. This year’s show won’t happen, so Mazda talked to Microsoft. “We asked if anyone had done this kind of a program before; they said 'no.' Then they came back to us and said they could make it happen.”
Product reveals are global anyway, as reporters at a traditional auto show stream, tweet, blog and Instagram to every corner of the Earth. But Wager said that while you kind of have to be at the big shows (although at the depth of the recession a couple of major brands pulled out of Detroit), you can do a lot elsewhere as any kind of media event is, de facto, a global happening. He pointed out that this was evinced at Wednesday's press conference, which had a 2:30 p.m. embargo that was broken not by someone at the New York event, but in Europe. "There really aren't borders anymore when it comes to product launches. If this does what we think it will, it's likely to be a foundation to do more events this way."
Only about half of the spend for the fall ad campaign for the 2014 Mazda3 will go to TV, per Wager. He said the campaign will continue the "Game Changers" theme the company launched this year with the Mazda6. "This is an easy two- to-three-year campaign, and it's how we will launch new products."