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First Drive: Mazda CX-9

What to drive when family responsibility dictates that your sports car days be put on hold.

by on Jul.29, 2011

Mazda's CX-9 is really just a supersized sports car.

We’ve all heard it before. “You won’t catch me driving a minivan,” the raffish 20-something says. Of course, that is before the invasion of the Little People, and all of their paraphernalia, from diaper bags to portable playpens. Some have turned to sturdier-looking sport utilities and crossovers, but the stigma is even starting to attach to those.

So you’re longing for the days of BLP – before Little People – for the days when the idea of driving a vehicle with three rows of seats was unfathomable. But now there are two kids and another in the oven, so three rows are mandatory if the dreaded – and incurable – Don’t Touch My Syndrome is to be avoided.

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Mazda may have the answer. This is the Zoom-Zoom company, so it designs its cars with the goal of offering the sportiest driving experience in the segment. That includes its big three-row crossover, the CX-9.

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Another Big Auto Ad Shake-up As Doner Gets Chrysler

Estimated at $500 mil, deal offsets agencies earlier loss of Mazda.

by on Nov.16, 2010

Doner wins the year-end ad business at Chrysler and could be in for an even bigger plum.

After suffering the potentially devastating loss of its Mazda account, earlier this year, independent Detroit ad agency Doner has landed on its feet, capturing the dealer and retail advertising business from Chrysler LLC, an account worth an estimated $500 million.

The move comes as the latest in a series of shake-ups in the automotive advertising business over the last year that have seen even some of the strongest and longest-lasting account teams broken up, notably including a shift by Chevrolet away from its partner of nearly a century, suburban Detroit’s Campbell-Ewald.

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The Doner deal with Chrysler will see the Southfield, Michigan bounce box from the blow of losing the $150 million Mazda business,one of its most high-profile accounts.

Officially, the deal the agency landed with Chrysler is just a temporary assignment, with Doner putting together the retail and dealer advertising needed to clear out the unsold inventory of the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands.  But it is likely, according to inside sources, that Doner will not only keep the account, moving forward, but potentially also get the big Chrysler brand account, as well.

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Mazda Will Keep Zoom-Zooming With New Agency

Popular image campaign will survive switch.

by on Aug.23, 2010

Think of Zoom-Zoom as part of Mazda's "DNA," says Jim O'Sullivan.

Though it’s abandoning its long-time advertising agency, don’t expect Mazda to walk away from the popular Zoom-Zoom tagline that has made the Japanese maker such a standout in the otherwise crowded automotive marketing space.

If anything, the familiar campaign — meant to position Mazda as a more performance-oriented marque among mainstream brands – will become even more critical, what with the Japanese carmaker looking to boost its American market share by as much as 50%.

“Zoom-Zoom is not going away,” Jim O’Sullivan, president of Mazda’s North American sales subsidiary, tells TheDetroitBureau.com.  “We’re not doing away with our creative and brand positioning,” despite the decision to leave the Detroit-based agency, Doner, for MindShare, a division of the global advertising powerhouse, WPP.  “It’s our DNA,” O’Sullivan contends.

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The decision to drop Doner came as something of a surprise considering the successful collaboration between the agency and automaker.  There’s been plenty of debate about why Mazda made the move, though O’Sullivan insists it was not driven by the corporate parent, in Japan.

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Zoom-Zoom…Gone

Mazda yanks ad account despite long-running success.

by on Jun.21, 2010

Mazda is zoom-zooming from Doner to Team Detroit/WPP.

Though it is credited with creating one of the industry’s most credible marketing campaigns, the independent Detroit-based ad agency, Doner, has learned that nothing is permanent in the automotive world.

Doner has been notified it will lose the multi-million dollar Mazda ad business, an account that the suburban agency put on the map with its Zoom-Zoom theme.

After a lengthy review, the California-based Mazda subsidiary is moving to another Motown agency, Team Detroit/WPP.  It is unclear whether the Zoom-Zoom campaign will continue or be replaced by a new slogan.

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