Mazda "Drive Inspired" (2019) 1:05 (USA)

First, they brought you a woman with a red balloon floating around impressive landscapes until the balloon turned into a Mazda3. Now, Mazda is back, this time for the CX-5. The spot begins with a storm in the city. A couple runs to their car, gets inside, breathes a sigh of relief. And then, with the touch of a button, the world completely changes. Everything gets better and warmer and beautiful.

The rain goes away. The woman reaches out to touch clouds, and as the man steps on the gas, she leaves contrails in them. The sun dips down and at an intersection, the man reaches out and brings the sun back up so they can continue their drive.

Lovely, lovely spot. The color does so much for this. Unlike the Mazda3 spot which had so many filters on top of it that it looked like a mistake, this one somehow escaped the same fate. Were it not for the music, this would be a great spot certainly for the category. And the casting is amazing I can already picture how many comments will get from dudes wanting to know the name of the pixie-haired woman. Both of them are sexy in an understated way.

But wow, that music again. It's the same Haley Reinhart cover of "Dreams," by The Cranberries, whose singer Dolores O'Riordan tragically drowned in a bathtub last year. Which is what a lot of people will be thinking. What a drag. This cover is so plodding. I wonder if anyone took into account that it might not actually work to picture when you're trying to tell me the car has some turbo to it. Beyond the speed, there are New England Presbyterian choirs with more soul.

It is inexplicable to me why Mazda would work so hard to revamp its brand by bringing it into a metaphorical territory (and hiring an A-list director, John Hillcoat) only to choose a pedestrian song that in this context beats the viewer over the head with its lyrics.

While they are working hard to tell the viewer how to feel with the song lyrics they are also simultaneously working hard to confuse the viewer, too. How else would you explain using the same song on two different models of car?  Unless they want this Dreams thing to be their mnemonic?  


Client Mazda 
Agency Garage Team Mazda
Erich Funke, chief creative officer; Renato Braga, SVP, creative director; Evan Brown, copywriter; Vidur Raswant, Marcus Moore, art directors; Jeff Perino, executive producer. 
Production Serial Pictures John Hillcoat, director; Philippe Le Sourd, DP; Violaine Etienne, founding partner/exec producer; Jennifer Gee, head of production; Melachy McAnenny, producer. 
Editorial Exile Editorial Conor O’Neill, editor; Rex Lowry, assistant editor; Carol Lynn Weaver, exec producer; Michael Miller, sr. producer. 
Color Company 3 Siggy Ferstl, colorist; Matt Moran, sr. producer. 
Finish/VFX a52 Patrick Nugent, sr. exec producer; Andy McKenna, VFX supervisor; Stacy Kessler, producer. 
Audio Post Lime Studios Joel Waters, Mark Meyuhas, mixers; Susie Boyajan, exec producer. 
Music Shindig Caroline O’Sullivan, head of production; Debbi Landon, exec producer; Scott Glenn, creative director; Austin Shupe, composer.

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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Dabitch's picture

If I hear that "dreams" cover again I might stab my own eardrums out.

some_ad_dude's picture

"How else would you explain using the same song on two different models of car?"

Budget, perhaps you've heard or experienced it.

Dabitch's picture

From the writeup, I gleaned this was blown on Haley Reinhart and the Cranberries rights.