Nissan's European sales and marketing arm is taking off with a new urban-themed campaign for its Qashqai crossover where a futuristic zip-line ride is a metaphor for the excitement of driving the crossover around town. Nissan says the car -- which was unveiled globally on Nov. 7 and went on sale in Europe on Jan. 17 -- is its best-selling model across the pond, with over 2 milliion of them on the road since launch seven years ago.
The new campaign, via Paris-based TBWA\G1 and Digitas, centers on a TV and Web spot called “Fly by Night,” whereby a rakish guy steps onto the ledge of his apartment high above the city and uses the Qashqai key fob to instantly create a zip-line with a cool grip and pulley setup. He leaps from the building, and next we see him zooming along several feet above the streets. But when people turn to look at him what they see is the Qashqai, and he's at the wheel. The spot, set to “Right Here, Right Now” by Fatboy Slim, is directed by Joseph Kosinski, who helmed “Tron” and the forthcoming sci-fi “Oblivion.”
Nissan says the effort includes out-of-home and print that embody the theme, "The Ultimate Urban Experience." Print elements hone in on such on-board technology as Nissan Safety Shield, Intelligent Park Assist, and NissanConnect telematics system and its integrated suite of apps.
Nissan says that ads for Qashqai have been thematically consistent, with a focus on excitement. “Skateboard,” “Play with the City,” “Paintball” and “Stylish Impact” suggest where the creative has been.
Ewan Veitch, president, TBWA\G1, tells Marketing Daily that the campaign will be running initially in 22 countries in 24 languages across Europe, with the possibility of more markets added later.
"This is a fully integrated launch campaign," says Veitch, who adds that TBWA was responsible for the brand idea, TV, print, outdoor and retail, with digital and social produced by Digitas.
"With regards to the target, the driver is an aspirational one. We chose him with the aim of conveying a young modern, successful working guy who is tech-savvy," he says. But he says that as in the U.S., the actual buyer tends to be function-oriented. Think kids. "The actual buying target is generally a bit older, and has a family and children."
Americans who go to Europe also notice that the cars -- in addition to wearing totally unfamiliar nameplates and brand plates -- are also smaller, but there is also greater interest in other vehicles. "Yes, small cars are big in Europe but crossovers definitely are too," says Veitch.
Meanwhile, TBWA\Toronto has just launched new work for another crossover, the redesigned Nissan Rogue, for the Canadian market. That campaign takes another urban turn, but this time it’s a winterized zombie theme. You could call it “World War S” with rogue snowmen instead of zombies: a winter storm brings out an army of demonic snowmen that destroy whatever is in their path. A guy in a redesigned Rogue shows up and uses the car’s driving virtues to ram them to back into the snow from whence they came, saving the denizens of the city in the process.