Nissan packs a lot of thrills into new campaign

Who: Nissan Canada, with Nissan United (Juniper Park\TBWA’s integrated bespoke agency team) for strategy, creative and media, Partner Films for production (Ben + Dave directing), Partners Films for production, Alter Ego for post-production, and TA2 for music and sound design.

What: “Thrillology,” a light-hearted new campaign that imagines a fictional research facility—where researchers have “excitement down to a science”— to show off different Nissan models and features.

When & Where: The campaign went live earlier this month on TV and social, with digital and in-store following on Oct. 1. The plan is for the campaign to be in market for the next year.

Why: There are a few different strategic considerations behind this campaign: It had to be modular and retail oriented, it had to deliver on Nissan’s new-ish “branded house” approach, and it needed to demonstrate features and functionality in a unique way.

“The Thrillology campaign ties really well with our new branded house approach of injecting excitement and thrill into everything we do,” said Ken Hearn, Nissan’s director of marketing, in a release. “Our core focus was to ensure that we are able to demonstrate Nissan’s refreshed line-up while showcasing our best-in-class features.”

Nissan started to shift to the “branded house” approach late last year, and introduced it in Nissan’s first ever Canadian brand campaign earlier this year.

Why a “branded house” model? “Shifting from a house of brands to a branded house allows Nissan to focus on building one brand—the brand of Nissan, not the brands of individual vehicles,” explained Adam Lang, managing director, Nissan United. “This gives more focus to our communication strategy. If we can ensure Nissan is landing on the consideration list, shoppers will inevitably find the right model for them in the line-up.”

How: Juniper Park\TBWA created the “Institute of Thrillology,” a place where “researchers” can demonstrate features and innovations in fun and “cheeky” experiments across the line-up. In the launch spot, there’s a test that shows the correlation between “throttle input” and “adrenaline output” with the Rogue, while another test shows “head-bobbing velocity” in response to a Kick’s built-in headrest speakers. The agency said  “Thrillology” will be used throughout the customer journey—from broadcast, to social media and through to dealerships.

“Most auto manufacturers provide similar features and functionality, making it difficult to stand out,” said Andrew Caie, creative director, Juniper Park\TBWA, in the release. “The Thrillology campaign allows us to promote Nissan’s vehicle innovations in an entirely new way, while also enabling us to communicate any vehicle, feature, or service coming from the brand.”

David Brown