In an uncertain selling climate, several automakers have boosted their spending on magazine advertising this year.
Mazda North American Operations spent $58.6 million on magazine ads through August, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. That's a 59.6 percent increase from the year-ago period. Mazda did scant magazine advertising before 2003.
Men's lifestyle magazines such as Stuff, Maxim and various sports and auto enthusiast publications are benefiting from the spending increase. Mazda is launching four new or redesigned vehicles this year. They include the Mazda3 sedan and five-door and the Mazda6 five-door and sport wagon.
Mazda marketing director Eric Johnston says the automaker is using magazine advertising to introduce its vehicles to consumers.
"It's been a bigger part of our budget because of a launch year," Johnston says. "We need to improve (product) consideration. That's why we're using more print now, compared to the TV medium.
"You can deliver in print ads information that's very difficult to deliver in a 30-second TV spot," he adds. "That information is delivered to a receptive audience and effectively delivers the brand message."