Ad of the Day: Mazda, ‘Anthem’

The brand's new agency celebrates the automaker's passion and innovation

Headshot of Tim Nudd

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"

Garage/Team Mazda:

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

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.
Publish date: April 18, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT