Mission (Not Quite) Impossible

Dear Mazda,

The mysterious envelope.
(Click photo to enlarge)

A few years ago, I purchased my first new vehicle: a Mazda Tribute, one of your mid-sized SUV’s. I wish I could say that there was brand loyalty, that we had a great automotive history together, blah blah blah. Basically the decision came down to 1) I could fit all of my stuff into the cargo area and 2) the price was right. I have to say, though, I’ve been very happy driving it.

After making this momentous purchase, you added my contact information to the massive marketing database that many corporations maintain. These days it’s to be expected. What is also to be expected is the occasional “advertorial” magazine or the mountains of marketing material I’ve received from you advertising the next great vehicle. Aside from the service coupons that have come in handy, most of it has gone directly to the recycling pile without a second glance. Sorry. You’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. That is, until last week.

The “top secret” dossier (top and center)
and the detailed photo envelope.
(Click photo to enlarge)

At first, I thought the plain, brown envelope was something from my dad, so it had my attention. The man seems to own stock in whatever company makes those things and will send anything and everything in them. The “Top Secret” stamp on the front left me a bit baffled and the return address of “ Mazda North American Operations” let me know this did not relate to family business. I was intrigued.

When I opened it, the first words out of my mouth were “What the [heck]?” (This blog is PG, so you know…).

I can honestly say I wasn’t expecting the extremely detailed envelope designed to look like it came from a one-hour photo lab. And the dossier…wow. More information than I’ve ever wanted to know about their newest “highway agent.”

The first volley was successful: You had my attention.

The content was very well produced. The “surveillance photos” in the photo lab envelope were great, but the faux handwritten notes on back of the photos (which I didn’t notice until later) detailing gas mileage and the cubic feet of storage space were a very nice touch. I actually sat down and read the “intelligence report” which detailed your new “crossover sport utility vehicle.”

The action shots that made up the surveillance photos.
(Click photo to enlarge)

Point goes to you guys: The material has avoided the recycle bin.

I’ll have to admit, though, that I’m really not as interested in the crossover as I am the advertising vehicle. Okay, I really didn’t mean to go there.

So here I sit, sandwiched into an airplane window seat, writing a blog post about a car ad of all things. You have me spreading your message, doing the dirty work for you.

Game, set, match: Mazda.

Congrats on the victory. I have to admit that advertising efforts don’t jump out at me very often, but this was cool. While I won’t be in the market for another vehicle for say, 50,000 miles or a couple of years (whichever comes first), I’ll keep you in mind. In the meantime, if you can work on a hybrid Tribute, that would be great. Just make sure the promotional material is just as cool as this.



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