HANTILLY, France — What's after “zoom-zoom” for Mazda Motor Corp., which has centered its advertising campaign worldwide on the catchy slogan, sometimes whispered, sometimes chanted to the beat of not-so-distant drums?
It's been so successful in the last year that it's almost become a global catch phrase. But no ad campaign lasts forever, even though some enjoy greater longevity than others. Were it creatively so-so, “zoom-zoom” might disappear altogether.
Instead, Mazda plans to drive ahead with an impending ad campaign that will stay fresh but won't turn its back on the popular concept. So says Stephen T. Odell, Mazda's senior managing executive officer, here for a press preview of the all-new Mazda3.
“We'll have to tailor ‘zoom-zoom’ to move forward,” he says. “It will be an evolution and will appear in various forms around the world.”
Many people within the company were surprised z-z has “worked as well as it has around the world,” says Odell. “In Germany, management had to be convinced it was a good thing. Now, it'd be hard to drag it away from them. Customers and dealers love it.”
The campaign is the brainchild of the Doner advertising agency in Southfield, MI. Advertising is in the works for the new Mazda3, but “zoom-zoom will still be there,” says James O'Sullivan, head of Mazda North American Operations.
Succeeding the entry-level Protege, the larger Mazda3 arrives at dealerships in late November. It's Mazda's third vehicle introduction, after the RX-8 and Mazda6, in less than a year. Pricing is pending.
The Mazda3 will come with two powertrain choices, a 2.0L and 2.3L, and two models, a 4- and 5-door. Sports packages will be available, tapping into the popular aftermarket for sporty compacts.
Derivations are planned. “But I'd be lying if I said we're working on one right now,” says Joe Bakaj, Mazda executive officer-design and product development. Two new diesel engines are due out in early 2004 for the European market.
The Mazda3 will compete with the likes of the Honda Civic and Volkswagen Jetta. It's designed chiefly to appeal to singles and families, ages 25-35, says chief designer Hideki Suzuki. Mazda calls the 3's styling sleek and sporty, in contrast to another new youth-oriented vehicle, Toyota Scion's boxy xB.
A Mazda spokesman here says that vehicle may have crossed the line between “different and dorky.”
Mazda hopes to sell about 250,000 of the Japanese-built Mazda3s worldwide, 70,000 units in the U.S.