Nissan plays with Much to spark demand

Mission: Partner with a youth brand to create an exciting multi-platform campaign to promote the 2008 Nissan Versa and position it as a fun, youthful car, targeting urban active people in their early 20s.

Mission: Partner with a youth brand to create an exciting multi-platform campaign to promote the 2008 Nissan Versa and position it as a fun, youthful car, targeting urban active people in their early 20s.

Threat assessment: The auto industry is very competitive, so Nissan needed to generate big buzz to get in the game.

The plan: ‘The youth market today is very active online, so we wanted to connect with them through their own media and create the sense of a big event,’ says Wendy Durward, marketing communications director at Mississauga-based Nissan Canada.

Nissan chose MuchMusic due to its strong connection with the demo, and a campaign was hatched last November with the help of agency TBWAToronto. It combined TV product placement with online interactivity and, most importantly, the lure of a live car giveaway and on-air Versa game antics.

A TV spot airing on MuchOnDemand directed viewers to muchmusic.com. Once online, browsers were asked to take the Nissan Versa test for a chance to win a car, and entrants were encouraged to provide the email addresses of their friends, who would then receive a message urging them to enter. For every friend, the original participant would receive a bonus entry.

And for the product placement element, before a random name was drawn on air, the MuchOnDemand audience was seen interacting with the car in customized games. One car was given away in Toronto and a second in Quebec, in partnership with MusiquePlus.

The prognosis: Close to 11,000 people entered the contest and more than 9,000 opted to receive Nissan’s email newsletters, providing the brand with a customized mailing list for future promos.

What’s more, TBWA’s group account director, Richard Phillips, confirms that web

traffic to Nissan.ca and Versanights.ca increased considerably as a result of the campaign, and Nissan succeeded in positioning the Versa as a fun, youthful vehicle.

The success of the campaign was such that Durward says Nissan hopes to hook up with MuchMusic again in the near future for an even bigger and more deeply integrated promotion.

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