Through Talenthouse, Mazda is offering UK designers, illustrators and visual artists an opportunity to create a car wrap design for its upcoming MX-5 car (pictured).
The winning design will then be showcased at the Mazda MX-5 sports car launch at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June, with the creator subsequently winning a prize of £3000 and exposure through a connected social media campaign.
Claire Andrews, marketing director at Mazda, told Marketing Week: “This is only the start as we want to produce consistently unconventional work to get the attention of the younger generation so they can start to connect with the Mazda brand. Our brand awareness has a lot of room for growth in the UK.”
Andrews says the car brand will also look to tie up with Talenthouse in the US market for the MX-5, while it is considering utilising the service to give outside artists, designers and musicians the chance to craft future social media advertising campaigns, which could then be put onto television.
Another way Mazda is trying to appeal to the youth market is through the ongoing use of virtual reality.
“When we launched the Mazda2 mini in March we sold 800 cars off the back of using virtual reality to allow customers to preview the car through headsets in our showrooms,” said Andrews.
She says that the upcoming Mazda MX-5 and CX-3 car launches will be supported by a virtual reality app, which will allow consumers to visualise each of the cars in their driveways ahead of their release.
The car brand previously started its first gamification-led experiential brand campaign in a bid to diversify sales.
Mazda’s first quarter sales for 2015, ending March 31, saw a 5% year-over-year increase over the same period last year. With unit sales of 53,103, Mazda is also steadily expanding its European market share, now at 1.5%, and fuelled by the three new car launches, Andrews expects sales to be up 20% in the UK this year. She says ad spend will be ‘significantly’ up year-on-year and that television campaigns for the two new car launches will go live later in the summer.
She added: “If you look at most car brands, the audience tends to be 35+, with most new car buyers in the 45+ bracket; we think we can change that. Mazda should feel and look post-modernist when it comes to our advertising.”
On YouGov’s BrandIndex list of the UK’s 28 biggest car brands, Mazda is in 16th place when it comes to index score, which is measured by looking at consumer perception of quality, value, reputation and satisfaction. However, the rise in ad spend could be timely, with its score of 6.7 down 2 percentage points over the last 60 days.