That ad for the new Mazda 2 is rubbish, isn’t it? That one with all the dancers and the crap music and the stupid tagline: “Mazda 2: it’s fit”.
It does nothing at all for the car, which is a great piece of engineering and a vast, vast improvement over the old model. It fails to create any kind of feeling or emotion, apart from the thought that turning the TV off might be a good idea. It's just a totally misguided waste of a minute of your life.
I am mildly obsessed with car ads. I think it has something to do with the fact that when I was much younger, my mother wouldn’t let my brother and I watch ITV. It meant we never saw TV ads. And that means, of course, I’m now unusually interested in them.
And car commercials are some of the best, and most diverse, on telly. VW has always, always made brilliant ads, except for the one for the Eos which was peculiar, and utterly lacking the exceptional ability to sell an idea, a feeling, rather than the car. BMW does brand management through advertising well too; Toyota’s "respect" campaign for the Yaris is delightfully low key and clever as well.
But have you ever seen those Toyota ads for the Auris and the RAV-4? The ones where a comet crashes into a desert and an Auris drives out, or that even more woeful one where the bloke on the cargo ship drives a RAV-4 around the deck? Utterly hopeless. How can Toyota produce neat, nicely judged little films like the Yaris commercials, and then resort to those awful one-size-fits-all Euro-ads?
Mazda has missed a big opportunity with the new 2. The "It’s fit" ad communicates nothing at all about the car or about the company. It fails to make the car desirable. A pity, but Mazda is going to need to sharpen up its image if it wants to attract new buyers.