Monday, April 30, 2007

Mazda's Failure to Launch

Mazda is adding another virtual promotion to the growing line of car manufacturers in Second Life. Since Toyota made a big launch in 2006 and Pontiac is praised everywhere for its crowdsourcing Second Life is hot amongst the iron-horse producers.

So we've had Toyota, Pontiac, Mercedes, BMW, Nissan (and probably one I've missed) and Fiat under construction, you might have thought Mazda has had enough time to look at their peers and learned something from them, for good or for bad.

The presentation of the Mazda Hakaze at Nagara island was...well... a bummer.

"Dagger rose. Silence. He sat and Barthelmess rose. He sat and Lundquist crossed to the podium. Still silence. A Mazda video played, then stopped and started again. Later another started. Neither video played to completion.

Suddenly the Mazda Hakaze appeared on the oval, which had now risen a bit from its previous ground position. It’s a cute little car, has a bit of a smiley face front and I expected cheers, comments, anything. Silence..," said SLNN reporter Sarah Qi (read full article here). Mazda had been using group IM's to keep the gathered press up to speed, but had failed to tell them to use the group audio channel.

Nagara Island is little more than a beach with a few roads to drive on. It appears Mazda bought the island in Januari 2006 and started building in February. Three employees have been inside SL but didn't bother to look beyond the borders of their own sim. Mazda plunged in without proper market research. They could have gotten away with that in early 2006, not in 2007!

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