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Mazda Asks: Do You Care About What You Drive?

Posted in Car Buying, Mazda, Videos by Kurt Ernst | April 15th, 2011 | 17 Responses |

The Shinari Concept gets tail-happy in Mazda's latest ad.

Mazda has always had a reputation as an enthusiast brand that builds cars for those of us who like to drive. Consider the RX-7, which continued to push the development of the rotary engine at a time when other manufacturers shelved the technology. It was Mazda that re-introduced the concept of a fun, affordable roadster, and their Miata is now in its 21st year of production. The 323 GTX was the first affordable rally car for the street, and even their current Mazdaspeed 3 remains one of the best performance bargains on the planet. If you’re Mazda, and you’re struggling to boost market share in the United States, how can you effectively distill the company’s rich history into an ad that will get buyers into showrooms? With a mix of old, new and concept vehicles, and a reminder that, “if it’s not worth driving, it’s not worth building,” that’s how. Video below.

Mazda North America’s Don Romano, chief marketing officer, summed it up best by saying, “The campaign strives to underscore Mazda’s devotion to creating exceptionally fun-to-drive, well-crafted vehicles, with the phrase, ‘we don’t build cars for everyone; we build cars for people who care about what they drive’.” The ad does an admirable job of clearly communicating this message, and Mazda has an aggressive broadcast schedule planned for both network and cable TV.

What are your thoughts on the ad campaign? How would you get Mazda back on track in the United States if you were behind the helm?

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17 Responses

  1. Victor says:

    I like Mazdas, they really are really fun to drive little cars, especially the 3. I really did not expect the little Mazda 3 (total base model) to be so peppy and fun to drive. Steering could have been heavier for my tastes (Used to heavy steering), but the acceleration was great. Only thing I did not like was the plastic like body and interior.

  2. J D Stadler says:

    Well, we have two so yeah, we’re fans already. I love the quote about making cars for people who love to drive, heh. I would love the for 6 to lose some weight from it’s recent redesign bloat, gain better mileage (hopefully with new Skyactiv engines), oh and if they could make it look like the Shinari concept I would be forever grateful and plunk down some cash right quick.

  3. Anthony says:

    I’d like the Mazda 3 if the front grill that’s all plastic to be chrome, and maybe push it out a little. Also if the body was more sporty. It’s still a really nice car and I even considered it but didn’t get it because they don’t have it in any real blue. I really wanted a Mazda 8! It cost to much for me tho especially insurance over here =(

    • Kurt Ernst says:

      Anthony, where is “over here”?

      The other problem with the RX-8 is fuel economy. If you drive them aggressively, they’ll return fuel economy similar to a V8. Since you need to wind out the rotary motor to make power, getting anything resembling reasonable fuel economy is a challenge.

      • Anthony Carbone says:

        I live in NYC plus i’m only 22 and have my license for under 3 years(3 years this summer) so it cost extra on top of extra$ I actually did read something about the R8 rotary engine requiring “a-lot of work” kinda moved me away from it but not as much as the price tag.I can’t drive it to aggressively here since i’m in traffic most of the time lol

  4. PFULMTL says:

    I remember years ago before the Mazda 3 hatch came out, they talked about making 5 door AWD hatch. I wanted one then, but then it came out and it was FWD. For some reason all FWD cars I just overlook and can’t take it seriously.
    The Miata I would like to have, but how come it doesn’t look like the styling on the Mazdaspeed3? How come it doesn’t have the same 260HP output? Give the Miata a more aggressive look and I’ll take it.

    • Kurt Ernst says:

      The MX-5 is one of the best blank canvases in the automotive world. Want a 260 horsepower MX-5? Slap an intake, header, full exhaust, Cosworth blower and ECU refresh on the latest model, and you’ll probably get around 240. If you want more and don’t mind an earlier generation car, there are turbo kits that will get you to around 300 horsepower. You can always go the V8 route, too, since Flyin’ Miata sells turnkey cars with an LS3 V8.

  5. crispy says:

    Loved my 2007 MS3, torquey and quite a bit of room along with great handling for a FWD car. I agree this is a great commercial – I would have put more car footage and less actual cookies being cut, but I get the point – gotta love a company that will slide a minivan in a commercial!

  6. eddie_357 says:

    the cows may come and go, but the bull goes on and on.

    • Kurt Ernst says:

      Eddie, I take it you’re not a Mazda fan. You’ve gotta give ‘em props for the drifting minivan though…

      • eddie_357 says:

        iam finding that difficult,enter rant.why in the world dont they put that wraspy wankle to rest!build a bullet proof ecoboost type engine and lose the shinari man and the happy guppy smile and get on with it!

        • Kurt Ernst says:

          Eddie, you’re getting your wish:
          – The rotary engine is going away (at least for awhile) when Mazda stops building the RX-8. It’s supposed to return in a “next generation” RX-7, tentatively called the RX-9, but that’s still a few years off.

          – Their new “Kodo” design language addresses the happy-face front fascia, so all next-gen Mazdas should look better than current gen cars.

          – Their SkyActiv technology relies heavily on small displacement, high pressure turbo engines (similar to Ford’s EcoBoost). The CX-5 will be the first car to market with the Koda styling and the SkyActiv engine.

          • eddie_357 says:

            you are indeed a treasure trove of information,i retract all of previous comments;thank you.

  7. Leigh says:

    This is a great ad! I think one testament to Mazda’s devotion to drivers is that I constantly see Mazdas both on the street and at local motorsport events. I appreciate how the make remains true to its core enthusiasts with the RX-8 and MX-5, while still imparting Mazda “soul” (aka its fun and driveability) into its more family-oriented vehicles.

    • Kurt Ernst says:

      Don’t forget the Mazdaspeed ladder program, which is one of the best ways to become a professional racer in the U.S. No other manufacturer does as much to promote amateur and semi-pro racing, which is reason enough to support Mazda.

  8. Patrick Lamb says:

    I liked my Mazda 3 Hatchback 2.3liter engine until this week-end.I change oil regularly, always using synthetic oil. This week-end it experienced catastrophic oil loss and threw a rod. My mechanic was shocked to find no oil in the sump. I later found the 2.3 liter has an internal engine seal that fails and the engine oil goes out the tail pipe at a rate as high as quart per 300 miles I now have a car with 63,000 miles that I maintained properly that is cannot be driven. Mazda denies there is a problem according to websites I have consulted. I’m waiting for a promised call from Roger Burdick Mazda that originally sold the car to the people I purchased it from. If this isn’t resolved Many people will hear about my problem. Many people consult me when buying cars and, rest assured, they won’t be buying a Mazda if this engine isn’t replaced. My family has several Mazdas.