Mazda Takes Over MySpace for Music Promo

Mazda today (Tuesday) is staging a one-day homepage takeover on MySpace, where visitors can download five free music tracks, while checking out the features on the 2010 Mazda3 model.

This is the first time MySpace has offered users a customized offering in the context of a playlist, said Doner, the agency behind the interactive banner. After listening to music from the seven unsigned bands, users can click and drag the songs to their playlist. Doner worked closely with MySpace’s music group to identify the bands that would help support the image of the Mazda3.

The homepage promotion positions the economy car model as “Wicked Fun. Wallet Smart,” and carries Mazda’s tagline: “Zoom-Zoom. Forever.” (The Mazda3 starts at around $16,000.) Consumers can preview features of the Mazda3 coupe or hatchback from a series of pull-down tabs acting as a kind of microsite within the banner. The MySpace homepage reaches nearly 18 million unique visitors per day and has about 40 million page views, per the company.

The banner is part of Mazda’s larger “Raise Your Flag” marketing strategy.

“Music is a passion point for the Mazda3’s youth target. The MySpace placement offers a unique opportunity to work in close collaboration in a way that suits our brand and with what we want to say about our product,” said Justin Smith, interactive executive creative director at Doner. “The youth market doesn’t like to be advertised to and this creates a way that invites them to experience the Mazda3. It gives them value for their attention.” 
 
Earlier this month, Mazda hired Boston-based consultancy Pile + Co. to manage a review for its North American advertising account handled by Doner, which has worked on the business since 1997. The independent agency has been invited to defend.

The carmaker spent $155 million on advertising last year, down 44 percent from 2008, excluding online, per the Nielsen Co.