NEW MAZDA SPOTS APPEAL TO CHILDHOOD MEMORIES

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(April 6, 2001) -- Mazda North American Operations, in Irvine, Calif., says it will hike its TV media buy this year while two new spots for a sedan and minivan debut next week.

The automaker plans to increase its TV media buy by 45% this year vs. 2000. The brand spent $127 million in TV in 2000, says Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.

A new 30-second spot for the 626 sedan from Doner, Southfield, Mich., arrives next week on national network and cable TV, followed by a new 30-second spot for the MPV the following week. Both feel-good ads link childhood memories to the fun of driving a Mazda. They'll air through April before a new Protege spot breaks in May.

Kristin Simmons, marketing director at Mazda, said there's no print for the two new spots because "this message is so emotional" it needs TV to convey it. Both spots, which will return to the rotation later in the year, continue the umbrella "Zoom Zoom" brand theme.

The new spots use a wide range of angled shots, including upside down in the MPV spot, which shows how the Big Wheel and Radio Flyer wagon inspired the design the minivan. In the 626 spot, a father whirls his son around after the boy asks what it's like to drive. -- Jean Halliday

Copyright April 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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