Mazda takes the Google Earth marketing road

That Fiat you could win with Google Earth during the Winter Olympics? It was only for a select group of Europeans, so it’s only fair that the Mazda you can now win with Google Earth is for US residents only.


As opposed to the Fiat sweepstakes, this new game actually requires some geography skills. It looks slick, too. But from the marketing perspective, it’s interesting to note that Google has now managed to recruit a decent group of high-profile brands to run campaigns that require young hip people to download Google Earth — Adidas, Fiat, Discovery Channel and now Mazda. (Not sure what to make of the Maxim stunt.) Mazda even boasts about it in their Press release:

Leveraging the popularity of Google Earth, a free software application run through that combines satellite imagery, maps and a powerful search engine, users will be able to use video clues to search all over the globe for a chance to win a brand new Mazda CX-7.

And later:

“This multi-tiered campaign is a great example of how Mazda has gone beyond basic marketing tactics to embrace emerging technologies in communicating to consumers,” said Brian Colianni, senior vice president of sales and marketing, MNAO.

It’s interesting to speculate whether Mazda gets incentives from Google to include Google Earth in a campaign like this — after all, Google is willing to pay for installs of Firefox with the Google toolbar, so why not pay for installs of Google Earth, thus helping to defray the costs of the campaign for Mazda? Or is the cachet that Mazda gets from associating itself with the next-generation browser enough compensation? (No money changed hands in the content deal with the Discovery Channel, for example, as reported by the Washington Post.)