Nissan kicks off a colourful campaign for the Kicks

New creative aims to help the crossover SUV stand out in a crowded category by appealing to young city dwellers' individuality.


The promise of individuality – expressed through colour and sound – is at the centre of new Nissan Canada campaign for the Kicks crossover SUV, which went to market last year.

A new spot by Juniper Park\TBWA called “The Kicks Effect” (and featuring Quebec actress Sabrina Bégin-Tajeda) shows a Nissan Kicks with an orange-painted top travelling through the city to the tune “Better in Colour” by American hip-hop artist Lizzo. The car transforms its surroundings as it passes, leaving behind a trail of orange buildings and street signs. It eventually crosses another Kicks that has been painting the town blue – drawing greater attention to the promise of personalization and self-expression.

“The Kicks Effect” follows last year’s “Underground” commercial, which featured a similar “move to your own beat” theme while showcasing the vehicle’s Bose headrest speakers (a segment-exclusive feature) and driving technology. The latest creative continues to promote the company’s tech-forward features, such as Apple CarPlay and a seven-inch touchscreen display, as well as the company’s “Kicks Colour Studio,” allowing consumers to customize their cars online.

Steve Rhind, director of marketing at Nissan, says the main consumer insight was that the Kicks offers greater individuality through its features and potential for customization. Since the “Underground” spot resonated with its target buyer of young urban individuals, Rhind says Nissan wanted to carry forward that work’s “upbeat feel” into this year’s campaign and digital extensions.

According to Rhind, budget for the work was comparable to previous executions, though the brand is investing more in targeted online media to reach its target audiences, who desire cars that offer versatility and technology.

“We believe this crossover is perfect for people located in urban areas, and looking for a vehicle which provides technology, best-in-class fuel economy, and an overall great value proposition,” he says. Competing in a diverse and competitive crossover category , he adds that “the Kicks is targeted towards those who want more space compared to a sedan, but don’t require a full sized SUV to move a family.”

In addition to working with Lizzo to reach a younger demo, Nissan will be doing ticket giveaways to the artist’s upcoming show in Toronto on Sept. 19.