Mazda to hike US marketing budget next year to support Mazda3 launch

Article by Anita Panait, on November 22, 2013

Mazda will increase its marketing budget for the United States in the next fiscal year beginning April 2014 to back the launch of the redesigned Mazda3, which it expects to spearhead its goal of achieving 400,000 sales in the country in 2016.

According to Russell Wager, vice president of marketing at Mazda North America Operations, the mass-market stage of the Mazda3's advertising launch commences in January 2014 and will continue until June.

Wager said that funds were added to next year’s budget partly to ensure that Mazda3 will attract enough attention in the already crowded compact car segment to drive the brand's sales targets.

Mazda, likewise, spent a lot in the past year for advertising. The Japanese carmaker rolled out the redesigned Mazda6 in the summer and also placed ads for other models like the 2013 Mazda3 and the CX-5 compact crossover. Wager remarked that for Mazda to grow, they need to invest more in marketing.

According to Wager, the Mazda3 campaign will be the brand's largest this year, as it accounts for around 40 percent of its annual marketing spending in 2013. Mazda’s ad campaign for the Mazda3 will be graced by late martial arts master Bruce Lee and cellular phone inventor Martin Cooper as pitchmen of sorts in a continuation of the "Game Changer" campaign commenced in spring with the Mazda6 launch.

One spot will feature Lee who was known for his strength and speed despite having a short stature, conveying the lighter and stronger chassis of the Skyactiv technology portfolio that underpins the Mazda3.

Another spot will feature Cooper to emphasize the Mazda Connect infotainment and connectivity system debuting on the Mazda3. Mazda posted a 1-percent drop in sales in the first five months of the year, although the Mazda6 and CX-5 pushed Mazda to a 5-percent surge in US sales through October.

Toyo Kogyo – the predecessor of Mazda Motor Corp. – established operations in the US in 1970 through Mazda Motor America. Mazda Motor America began with just one car in 1970 – the RX-2. The carmaker went to on to broaden it vehicle lineup in the US. Its vehicles powered by Wankel engines proved to be popular.

In February 1989, Mazda unveiled the first generation of the MX-5 Miata (NA) at the Chicago Auto Show and made it available for delivery in May 1989 in the US and Canada. Thanks to enthusiastic press reviews, demand for the MX-5 Miata initially outstripped production.

In 1997, Mazda consolidated its operations in North America as Mazda North American Operations, which includes Mazda Motor of America. Mazda North American Operations is headquartered at Irvine, California.

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Topics: mazda, mazda3, marketing

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