Protege Spots Readied

Mazda North American Operations is planning to unveil one of two new 30-second TV spots for its all-new ’99 model Protege during a press conference in New York on Tuesday.
That spot breaks Oct. 15, followed in November by a second spot, titled “Science Center.” Both are from Mazda’s national agency, W.B. Doner & Co. in Southfield, Mich. Ford Motor Media in Detroit, a subsidiary of J. Walter Thompson, handles media buying.
Neither Doner nor Mazda would comment on the new campaign.
Mazda spent $28 million in measured media advertising on Protege in 1997, and about $9 million during the first six months of 1998, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Spending on the new model is expected to rise significantly, sources indicated.
The campaign, described as “hip and funky,” targets a younger audience for Mazda’s volume sedan. Mazda dealers were recently shown the new work and seemed to be receptive, sources said.
The style of the first spot makes it seem as if it’s running on a computer screen instead of a TV, sources said. The spot features a young woman driving through a city in her new Protege, picking up three of her friends.
The tagline for the spot is: “The all-new Mazda Protege. A change from all your high maintenance relationships.” That is followed by Mazda’s overall tag: “Get in. Be moved.”
The campaign’s print portion is still in development, sources said.
Besides TV and print, the campaign will focus attention on a new Protege Internet site that will be the home base of a promotion, the Mazda “Out-of-the-Box” awards. Mazda has signed actress Jane Krakowski, one of the stars of the Fox TV show Ally McBeal, to appear online and in point-of-sale materials as the celebrity spokesperson for the promotion. –with Michael McCarthy