Nissan aims for a superior sequel

The newest "Conquer All Conditions" spot brings back a familiar adversary for the 2017 Rogue.

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Nissan Canada has dialed up the intensity in its fight against the weather for the latest spot in its “Conquer All Conditions” campaign.

In the “Return of the Snowmen,” a Nissan Rogue is once again dealing with an angry, demonic snowman, but as it makes its escape, an army of them emerge from the woods, complete with catapults and a giant, troll-like snowman leading them. Reinforcements also arrive for the vehicle, though and a battalion of crossovers forms to fight the snowmen head-on.

As with past executions in the campaign, Juniper Park\TBWA led creative for the campaign. OMD is handling the media buy, while digital agency Critical Mass is handling online elements.

The cinematic “Conquer All Conditions” campaign first launched in 2014 with the original “Snowman” spot to promote the Nissan Rogue, but has since been used for the brand’s full range of crossovers and SUVs fighting monsters representing conditions ranging from mud to rockslides to snow-covered trees.

As the company has entered a new model year for the Rogue, which includes an update to the styling and features of the crossover, it is once again in the spotlight for the campaign, which is why the new spot was conceived as a “sequel” to the original “Conquer All Conditions” spot.

“The important thing, because we were ultimately doing a sequel, was making sure the spot really big and epic,” says Steve Rhind, director of marketing at Nissan Canada. “We didn’t want to make one of those sequels that doesn’t live up to the original, so we intentionally wanted to make the drama of the situation grander and bigger than the first.”

While things like safety features, technology and fuel economy are important considerations for car buyers, Rhind says the core reason people buy crossovers and SUVs – especially for those considering a switch from a smaller car – is all-wheel drive, an insight that has not changed since the campaign originally launched. He says that as long as that continues to be true, the company will continue to execute the campaign in the highly cinematic fashion it has become known for.

“Everyone offers all-wheel drive, so the challenge has always been how do we differentiate ourself for something that has become expected in the category,” Rhind says. “Doing something different around that has been a way to get attention. How we’ve done that has evolved slightly over the years, but the core of it has always centred on all-wheel drive.”

On the same day the spot debuted in TV on Jan. 16, the full, 60-second version debuted through promoted posts on YouTube, including a masthead placement on the home page. In addition to the 30-second TV version of the spot running in Canada across conventional and specialty channels – as well as during broadcasts of NFL playoff games as part of Nissan’s sponsorship of the league – the spot has also been airing in the U.S. throughout January, which has previously been done for some spots in select markets where the driving conditions are similar to here in Canada.

Super Bowl season has been a favourite time for Nissan to debut past executions in the “Conquer All Conditions” campaign. Besides the cinematic nature of the spot being a fit for the kinds of ads consumers expect for the Super Bowl, Rhind adds that the time of year coincides with the change in the weather the campaign speaks to, as well as auto show season, when new vehicles are top of mind for consumers.