By: Jan Tuckwood

Publix commercials aren’t the only sentimental story ads that will have you blubbering into your mashed potatoes.


Emotion sells, particularly when you’re selling the romance of the road. Case in point: Mazda’s new U.S. marketing campaign, “Driving Matters.”


Mazda’s first installment in the new campaign is a 60-second TV spot called “A Driver’s Life” – one man’s life story, as told through the Mazda he drives.


Narrated in rhyme by actor Aaron Paul of “Breaking Bad” fame, the ad starts off showing the driver as a fun-loving college kid driving his beat-up MX-5 Miata roadster from road trip to frat party. When he gets married, he gets a practical Mazda3, followed by a CX-5 crossover SUV when he has his first child.


In middle age, he buys a new MX-5, and the voiceover gets positively syrupy: “In the garage, there’s something new..it reminds you of when you were you.”
I wanted to run out and buy a Miata on the spot.


Why? In middle age, buyers seek experiences more than they seek stuff. And Baby Boomers buy more cars than any other age group.


We asked Arthur Diaz, sales manager of Mercedes-Benz of North Palm Beach who buys convertibles, and he confirmed the romantic tug of roadster driving.


“Our convertible buyers are usually middle-aged or a little bit older, and most of them want them as secondary vehicles or weekend cars. It’s pretty balanced in terms of males and females, but almost every customer is buying a convertible for the emotion. They want to put the top down and enjoy South Florida.”


Rather than targeting a demographic, Mazda aims for a "psychographic," of people who love to drive, are well informed and are more interested in collecting experiences than things, Russell Wager, VP-U.S. marketing at Mazda told AdAge.


What car reminds you of when you were you? For me, it was my 1980 bright yellow Toyota Celica. I also loved my 2003 bright yellow Mazda6.


And perhaps it’s time to be me again in 2016: The fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata comes in sunflower yellow.