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Special Project

Special Project
From the 14th Annual Shorty Awards

Narcity Media for Branded Series

Entered in Branded Series


For over 100 years, Mazda has committed itself to build safe, sophisticated, and versatile vehicles, designed with its users in mind. Their cars provide a fun-to-drive experience to drivers from every corner of the globe. In 2008, the company pledged to build environmentally-friendly plants, linking back to its Japanese culture and the importance of a harmonious relationship between man and nature. They were seeking a way, amidst a global pandemic to communicate this mission.

With the ongoing pandemic having a major impact on people’s well-being across the country, the objective of this campaign was to position Mazda Canada as being synonymous with nature and how, with the help of its vehicles, our audience could go out and experience it.

In the spring of 2021, numerous Canadian provinces were forced to close down due to strict COVID-19 lockdowns, forcing Canadians to "hibernate", so to speak. Once restrictions were lifted slightly, individuals were able to create travel content that resonated with our audience and Mazda wanted to encourage them to disconnect from their work-from-home desks. A push for people to fully enjoy what nature in their own backyards had to offer. Narcity partnered with Mazda and did so through curated travel videos and guides of beautiful, interesting places to visit in the provinces of Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia.

Strategy and Execution

From the get-go, we noticed there was a seamless fit between Narcity’s mission, which is to promote hidden gems and places to discover in and around cities, and Mazda Canada’s vision of connecting communities with nature by providing them with a feeling of calm and tranquillity when drivers step into a Mazda vehicle.

We created a space on Narcity's website, where our readers and viewers could get authentic content that would allow them to plan their next city escape. By visiting our Seeking Nature hub, they would find captivating storytelling and imagery, and a video series hosted by a city slicker with a soft spot for nature, influencer @LifeofLindura.

We wanted our videos to convey "relaxing" from the start. We agreed with Mazda Canada that we did not want to overwhelm the viewers with the sponsor's brand or product plugs. The focus needed to be on the experience in nature, and the integration of Mazda cars into the trips needed to be subtle, to the point of being background information.

This campaign reminded our community of the importance of taking time to reconnect with nature, especially in the aftermath of COVID-19. We provided readers and watchers with inspiring ways to plan their next nature adventure, through fun activities, compelling routes and by sharing tips for making their experience one of a kind.

The campaign ran from March 31st - July 28th, 2021, and included a series of 9 articles, a bilingual video series of four episodes titled “Out Of Office”, central branded hubs (EN & FR), and a national contest. All elements were produced by Narcity Media’s Studio Team and were sponsored by Mazda Canada.

Here are the links to every video: 

Episode 1 - Out of Office (British Columbia) 

Episode 2 - Out of Office (Ontario) 

Episode 3 - Out of Office (Quebec) 

Episode 4 - Mode Avion (In French)


The results of this campaign surpassed our team's and Mazdas’s objectives. We were thrilled to see over 23,300 video views with a 60% completion rate, for our 4 videos showing the content truly grabbed the viewers’ attention and held onto it. The campaign also managed to hit many unique eyeballs as over 45,000 unique users landed on our branded hub, which also hosted the four videos as YouTube thumbnails. Driving visits to the beautiful and unique branded hub was of extra importance to Mazda Canada as it showcased their vehicles and their connection to nature.

Overall performance of the video series

Overall performance of the Branded Hub: 

Overall performance of the Pre-roll:


Video for Narcity Media for Branded Series

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Narcity Media, Excelerator Media, Mazda Canada


Entry Credits