Mazda is the latest marketer to roll out the ever-popular brand anthem, with its new agency, Garage-Team Mazda in Irvine, Calif., crafting a comprehensive look at the automaker's rich history in innovation, motor sports, and design. The new spot, actually titled "Anthem," begins and ends with the voiced line "What do you drive?" and offers the core message that "if it's not worth driving, it's not worth building." With shots of everyone from the car's engineers to its drivers, the spot "focuses on the details that define a Mazda—the way the gear lever sits in the driver's hand, the way the steering wheel feels, the way the car simply responds to every input," says the agency.
These anthems can get a bit tiresome. So many companies these days want to offer a grand (though always vague) manifesto about what they believe in, what they aspire to, what they stand for—all with the same visually stirring imagery and ceaselessly poetic copy. This Mazda spot is skillfully assembled, but the message feels just a bit too generic—it lacks the punch of something like Chrysler's "Born of Fire," or the true poetry of something like Saturn's "Sheet Metal."
"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,' " says Don Romano, chief marketing officer at Mazda North American Operations. The trouble is, that's the third bankable phrase we've been fed—plus, they're keeping the "Zoom zoom" tagline for the close. In the end, it feels like a bit of a pileup—an excess of declarations that's less than the sum of its parts.
Credits for Mazda, "Anthem"
Chief Creative Officer: Harvey Marco
Creative Directors: Napper Tandy, Kelly Kliebe, Sandra Luciano, and Kaoru Seo
Director of Integrated Production: Jamil Bardowell
Producer: Harry Lowell
Group Account Director: Natasha Singer
Brand Account Director: Justin Touhey
Account Supervisor: Melissa Pilon
Digital Account Director: Nicole Neopolitan
Production Company: Independent Media, Los Angeles, CA
Director: Janusz Kaminski
Executive Producer: Suzanne Preissler
Producer: Mark Fetterman
Editorial Company: Arcade Editorial, Santa Monica, CA
Editor: Greg Scruton
Assistant Editor: Doug Scott
Managing Partner: Damian Stevens
EP: Deanne Mehling
Producer: Ali Reed
Post: Air Ship Post
Smoke Artists: Adam Lobel and Chris Homel
Assistants: Pete D’Andrea and Rob Ufer
Producer: LaRue Anderson
Music: The Rumor Mill/J. Ralph
Audio Post: Eleven Sound Santa Monica, CA
Scott Burns, Engineer
Stock Footage: Getty Images