Mazda urges Canadians to get outdoors

Who: Mazda Canada, with Wunderman Thompson for strategy and creative; H+K Strategies for PR, and Mindshare for media.

What: “The CX-50 Minute Challenge,” a new campaign supporting the launch of the automaker’s new CX-50 SUV. It’s being conducted in partnership with ParticipAction, the national non-profit committed to getting Canadians to make physical activity a part of their everyday life.

When & Where: The challenge is running through August, supported by an integrated advertising campaign that includes online video, influencer content, paid social and dealership engagement. For the campaign’s PR component, Mazda also commissioned a survey about Canadians’ attitude towards spending time in nature.

Why: Auto companies love to associate their products with the great outdoors, and that’s particularly true when it comes to the truck and SUV categories—which often depict vehicles conquering hilly off-road terrain, snow-covered mountains, muddy fields, etc.

But Mazda was looking to make a “meaningful and authentic” connection with a new audience who previously wouldn’t have had a reason to consider Mazda when purchasing a vehicle, said Neal Bouwmeester, Mazda Canada’s director of marketing.

He describes the CX-50 as a “purpose-built SUV designed to move in harmony with nature,” rather than conquer it, and the idea is to create a link between Mazda and the outdoors. “We know that as a society, we don’t spend enough time outdoors, but the benefits can be achieved with a minimum recommended amount of time—about 150 minutes a week.

How: The campaign is built around a fitness challenge urging Canadians to download the ParticipAction app and spend a minimum of 50 minutes in nature at least three times a week. For every 50 minutes of activity logged on the app, participants will be entered into a weekly prize draw (as of Thursday afternoon, a total of 7.85 million minutes had been logged).

A 30-second video ad shows people engaged in outdoor activities such as swimming and cycling, while a series of on-screen stats show the number of minutes in a month, a week and a day, accompanied by the super “How many of them do you spend on you?” The video drives to a dedicated landing page that explains the program.

And we quote: “Adults are encouraged to get 150 minutes of physical activity per week, with added health benefits if we can take this activity outdoors. This is why we’re thrilled to partner with Mazda Canada to encourage everyone living in Canada to get more out of the natural world around them in such a fun way.” —Dr. Leigh Vanderloo, scientific director, ParticipAction

Chris Powell