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Mazda2 Gets Social, a Little Soul

Rebel Industries identified Mazda as a challenger brand. “If you walk down the street, you don’t see a ton of Mazdas driving by,” says CEO Josh Levine. “[Drivers are] creative, independent thinkers. An A-list artist wouldn’t resonate.”

Enter one white boy crooner with a fierce falsetto and booming baritone.

“Mayer doesn’t take himself too seriously,” Levine says of the easygoing soul singer from the Motor City. “He’s fun, understated, doesn’t have swagger, and seems like he’s of the people. Mazda would use a lot of the same concepts to describe its brand.” What he didn't know: Hawthorne was also a Mazda client.

“Josh presented various artists to us, and Mayer Hawthorne was the one we wanted to associate with,” Bretschger says, noting that Mazda is testing the waters with this music sponsorship. “After all was said and done, we found out that he already drove a Mazda.”

Mazda2 Backs Mayer Hawthorne National Tour

Mazda is sponsoring a national tour of crooner Mayer Hawthorne to support its new Mazda2 compact car. The effort is via L.A.-based social media marketing firm Rebel Industries, which has been handling social media efforts for the Irvine, Calif.-based automaker for the past several months.

...So the challenge is how do you launch a car without a huge budget in a segment targeting a younger consumer who is hard to reach with traditional media and who consumes media on their own terms? (Read the full article here)