Since its introduction to the U.S. market in 1989, the Mazda MX-5 or Miata, as it is known here in the States, has been one of the all-time best two-seat roadsters in sales. However, you might have noticed that the Mazda Miata doesn’t get a lot of press these days, especially not in the National ad campaigns. Every wonder why that is, especially for such an iconic car? Mediapost.com did and they decided to go straight to the source.
Chris Hill, Mazda’s new group manager of marketing operations, is someone who knows the Miata inside and out. As the former vehicle line manager for the MX-5/Miata, Hill knows how important this car is to the Mazda brand and the impact it has on the company’s direction. That said, he also has insight into why we don’t see the popular, some might say iconic, little roadster in Mazda ad campaigns. Hill says, “It's really something difficult to capture and put into marketing communications, quite honestly. The direction we are going for Miata is connecting with people who get it and understand that transportation can be fun -- that it can make you feel a certain joy, and the Miata is the epitome of that.”
2010 Mazda MX-5 Miata
The Miata is still considered a halo car for the Mazda brand though. You might be wondering how that is possible if it isn’t being used in the external marketing communications. The answer there is that it is a halo car because the company uses all the aspects of speed, handling, style and intuitive features to direct the rest of the brand. Basically, there is a little Miata in everything they build from MPVs to sedans to the Mazdaspeed series of cars. The difference is how they are coming at the marketing. People know what they like about Mazda’s, but they might not relate it directly to the Miata, so the brand has opted to advertise the most effective way for each segment. The bottom line still remains that the Miata truly shaped where the brand was heading in the late ‘80s and continues to today.