Nissan hits the road

Nissan is going after a younger target in a big way. The car co's first bid for the 25-to-early-30s market entailed a cross-Canada road trip in September featuring 10 contestants vying for a Versa, replete with webisodes documenting the journey at www.liveversa.ca.

Nissan is going after a younger target in a big way. The car co’s first bid for the 25-to-early-30s market entailed a cross-Canada road trip in September featuring 10 contestants vying for a Versa, replete with webisodes documenting the journey at www.liveversa.ca.

Competitors engaged in various challenges along the way that also happened to demonstrate features of the entry-level model. For example, the Toronto challenge had the contestants deliver furniture from IKEA to a women’s shelter, showcasing the Versa’s spacious trunk.

‘We wanted to do something that was unique as well as appropriate for our young target,’ explains Wendy Durward, director, marketing communications at Mississauga-based Nissan Canada.

Nissan did a cross-country mall tour this past spring to lure potential contestants, with the back seat of a Versa equipped with a camera for passersby to record their auditions on the spot. The efforts netted over 300 auditions.

Consumers are being driven to the microsite to follow the webisodes with TV, radio, print and online ads.

Partners on the road trip include EMI Music, which will be providing downloads, jukebox and music for the webisodes, and charity partners North York Women’s Shelter, Montreal Children’s Hospital and Tree Canada. Other brands featured on the trip, like IKEA, are not official partners.

The idea for the promo evolved from brainstorming sessions with Nissan and its Toronto-based agency partners: TBWAToronto, Desperado Marketing and Adeo.