Here’s a short case study of work Gawker Media Group did with Mazda to connect with millennial car buyers at the Jalopnik Film Festival.
This was the third year for Jalopnik to produce a film festival for car enthusiasts and the site wanted to combine the successful aspects of the first two years into one weekend of events. The first festival in New York in 2013 featured a mix of new and old feature length films on the topic of cars. The second festival in 2014, also in New York, was primarily a film contest with a mix of longer and shorter films. Jalopnik’s mission is to create excitement about cars and car films so they wanted to do both.
Mazda’s Goal: The large goal was to build awareness around their “Driving Matters” tagline. More specifically, Mazda wanted a video they could share out across their social channels to help amplify out what driving matters means and how Mazda has captured it in their fun-to-drive models.
Execution: In order to meet these two goals, Studio@Gawker, working with Mazda, Jalopnik and Mazda’s agency partner, planned a party at the Barker Hangar in Los Angeles — one of the biggest venues in Southern California. There Studio@Gawker and Jalopnik staged a pre-movie ride-and-drive and a screening of Adam Carolla’s documentary on Paul Newman for a huge crowd.
As part of the ride-and-drive, Studio@Gawker got Adam Carolla to jump into Mazda’s cars and surprise readers as a passenger, which resulted in a hilarious video that the client could use across social channels.
The next day, Jalopnik presented a full slate of films including numerous new features as well as a reel of short films selected by a panel of celebrity judges. There were also “Driving Matters” themed videos shown for the audience between films.
Results: The festival was a success for the brand, the site, and the readers. Both days of the festival were well attended with 881 at the screening or party, compared to 300 the year before. Of the opening party attendees, 67% were in the Mazda target audience and 85% thought the sponsorship was a very good fit. A whopping 97% of guests said they viewed Mazda more favorably after attending the event.
Having Jalopnik actively promoting the event was a huge bonus, with 75% of attendees saying they heard about it through Jalopnik. The potential social reach on Twitter was 16 million, up 400% from the year before. The event was an even bigger hit on Instagram with 22,000 likes and a reach that climbed from 66,000 the year before to 766,000 this year.
“Mazda’s sponsorship of the Jalopnik Film Festival was a natural fit for us. To both Mazda and Jalopnik, driving matters. It quickly became apparent that Jalopnik was a good steward for Mazda’s brand message with the high-quality experience it provided to its Film Festival audience, from the car-focused films to the venues to working with us to create displays and activations that spoke as clearly to Mazda’s key audience as it did Jalopnik’s.” - Russell Wager, vice president of marketing, Mazda North American Operations.