Mazda Aims to Punch Above Its Media Weight

Plans to Scale Back Splashy TV Spots, Spend More on Highly Targeted Online Ads

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Mazda's U.S. marketing chief, Russell Wager, plans to stretch the automaker's relatively small marketing budget with efficiency and by scaling back splashy TV spots and spending more on highly targeted online ads.

Mazda Marketing Chief Russel Wager
Mazda Marketing Chief Russel Wager

"TV is good, but we're not doing everything we need to do with digital," Mr. Wager told Automotive News.

Mazda's marketing budget, estimated at $325 million for Mazda's fiscal year, is a fraction of most of its competitors' budgets. Nissan spent more than $940 million in U.S. advertising last year. Kia spent nearly $500 million, according to Ad Age 's DataCenter.

To help Mazda "punch above its weight," Mr. Wager bought a billboard in Times Square for the 2013 CX-9 crossover ahead of an ad campaign to begin in January. "I'm just reallocating resources," he said. "But it's more impactful, and it'll help get the awareness of the vehicle up pretty quickly."

Ryan Beene is a West Coast reporter at Automotive News.
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