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Nissan exec dishes on iAd launch campaign

A Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. executive discussed his company?s ongoing iAd campaigns geared to drive awareness of its new automotive models among Apple?s desirable demographics.

The iAd campaign promoting the Nissan LEAF, which will be the first 100 percent electric car available in the United States, rolled out in early July with the launch of Apple?s iAd platform. The automaker?s initial push with the iAd Network will run through March of 2011.

?Nissan has always been at the forefront of innovation in marketing, as well as in our cars and trucks, so to be the first and only automotive brand on iAd was a natural extension of that approach,? said Jon Brancheau, vice president of marketing at Nissan North America, Franklin, TN.

?It also made perfect sense given that Nissan is the first to bring a 100 percent electric vehicle to mass market,? he said. ?Both Apple and Nissan users are known for appreciating innovation, amazing design and rewarding user experiences?they?re leaders, adventurers and very emotionally connected to the brands they believe in.

?This mindset cuts across demographic lines of age, income or gender.?

The Nissan LEAF, an acronym for Leading, Environmentally friendly, Affordable, Family car, is a compact five-door hatchback electric car. Sales are scheduled to begin in the U.S. and Japan in December.

Nissan revs up iAd campaign
The Nissan iAd campaign targeted applications for the iPhone and iPod touch that appeal to information seekers, sports enthusiasts and entertainment enthusiasts, among other categories.

Mr. Brancheau said that rather than have a traditional ad banner that takes the user out of the application when clicked on, the iAd creative keeps the user in the application, and then delivers a rich creative environment for people to interact with Nissan creative and become engaged with product information.

The expanded Nissan iAd includes a menu featuring images of the LEAF car, a page called ?new specs? with information about the LEAF and a page called ?the new MPG? with a chart showing how far the LEAF can drive on $1 of gas compared to other popular vehicles.

Here is a screen grab of "the new MPG" page:

In addition, the Nissan iAd has a call-to-action on ?the new prize? page urging consumers to ?enter the sweepstakes to win the new car.?

Users shake their iPhone to pick a color and then tap to enter to win a Nissan LEAF.

Here is a screen grab of the sweepstakes call-to-action:

?Apple provided great guidance to us in our approach to this unique creative on their platform,? Mr. Brancheau said.

?We learned a lot in this process about providing a Nissan Leaf brand experience within a mobile app in such a way that users would be inclined to engage deeply with the content,? he said.

?Apple certainly knows how to deliver the richest user interface experiences and we were very pleased to have this be a collaborative experience.?

This was not Nissan?s first foray into mobile advertising.

Last year, Nissan?s luxury car brand Infiniti advertised within publishers' SMS alerts as a centerpiece of a multichannel campaign to promote the launch of its latest G Convertible (see story).

Nissan also launched a campaign that used the mobile Web, an iPhone application and text messages to promote its then-new Cube car model (see story).

An upcoming campaign for the Nissan Juke will roll out on the iAd platform this fall and the new Nissan Quest minivan is in consideration for the winter.

?At the same time Apple was handpicking progressive, innovative brand partners that could deliver a compelling consumer experience, Nissan was looking for a way to provide the most engaging experiences possible over the mobile Web for the most innovative vehicles coming to mass market such as the 100 percent electric Nissan Leaf and the new sport cross, the Nissan Juke,? Mr. Brancheau said.

Final Take
Dan Butcher, associate editor, Mobile Marketer