Sunday, July 28, 2013

There's Something About Mazda...

This is going to seem like I have a vendetta against Mazda. Genuinely I don't. But I just can't let their new print ad go unpunished.

I've seen so many briefs over the years where the product is described as "revolutionary"... "a paradigm shift"... or "a real game-changer."

And the example often used is the Fosbury Flop, the 'backwards-over-the-bar' high-jump invented by American athlete Dick Fosbury in 1968, which was a complete departure from the previous 'straddle' technique. 

In fact the Fosbury Flop is such a cliched metaphor for 'revolutionary change', I never thought anyone would be so crass as to actually make an ad out of it.

But Mazda have!

The saddest part of this story is that the Mazda 6 actually seems like a really good car. It's well-built, looks great, and is excellent value for money. But it's no Fosbury Flop, and the comparison is a ludicrous over-claim.

As a creative, when you get the "it's a game-changer" brief, your first task is to get everyone to calm the f*** down, and then hunt for something concrete to talk about. Buried in the copy here, and mentioned in passing in the TV ad, is talk of 'skyactiv technology', which could probably have been the basis for distinctive and believable advertising, but they didn't pursue it.

It also begs the question, now they've wasted the Fosbury Flop metaphor, what are Mazda's ad agency going to do if the company comes out with a vehicle that is genuinely revolutionary?

If anyone from the Mazda design team is reading this, I have come up with a few ideas of my own, that I modestly submit really would 'change the game':

Skyactiv technology in action

By the way, as regular readers will know, I'm from a copywriting background, and this is only the second or third time I've ever used Photoshop. How'd I do?


Anonymous said...

You did better than some actual "art directors" I know.

Anonymous said...

Can you post a higher res version?
I want to be able to read the copy and see exactly where the shoehorn is shoved in.

Tim said...

Actually the Art Direction is spot on. Done any better then this the humour would have been lost and I wouldn't of P#@@ED my sides half as much.

Chris Ogunlowo said...