LOS ANGELES — Nissan North America is breaking creative that shows the similarities between updating a classic like “Mary Poppins” and the longstanding member of its vehicle lineup, the Nissan Altima.
Nissan had a presence at the global premiere of the movie last week in Hollywood. Executives from the automaker walked the red carpet and attended the screening at TCL Chinese Theater, where the original debuted in 1964.
Jeremy Tucker, vice president, marketing communications and media, Nissan North America, told a small group of reporters who also attended the premiere that aligning with the classic movie is a natural for the brand.
“It’s always just really fun to partner with our friends at Disney and tell the stories of our creativity and our focus on innovation and how do we solve problems for our customers and our fans in a very modern world,” Tucker said. “And that’s what brings us to tonight, because sometimes you say what are you doing and why are we here, and what does Nissan have to do at all with ‘Mary Poppins Returns?’”
Tucker discussed the challenges the automaker faces in selling sedans, alluding to the recent stories of other automakers killing off their car brands in favor of trucks and SUVs.
“The reality is, 5 million sedans are sold in America every year,” with many customers falling into the millennial demographic, he said. “There’s a tremendous opportunity that we see here, and we had to think about what do we do to reimagine the future of the sedan for our fans. What does it mean from a driving perspective, from a technical perspective? How do we take what we love about a sedan, the drive and the iconicness of the Altima, one of our best models and a tremendous nameplate for Nissan, and modernize it, without losing who we are.”
Walt Disney had a similar challenge in creating a new version of an iconic movie, he said.
“How do you take it to the next level by taking what’s loved, but through the lens of technology, through the lens of creativity and through the lens of design, bringing something new and fresh that brings the best of the past with the promise of the future,” Tucker said.
“That story became the genesis of what we thought we could do to celebrate and engage with fans in a very relevant way. Because relevance is what it’s all about today from a marketing perspective: meeting customers where they’re at, telling them our unique story, and the story of our partners, finding those who share our values in a moment where it matters.”
Both spots show scenes from the movie interspersed with images of the Altima, opening with the line from the movie “This is how the impossible becomes possible.”
They include “Mary Poppins Returns” creators Jim Capobianco, animation supervisor, and Mimi Steele, vice president visual effects production, talking about the design and technology that went into the movie, which combines animation with live action.
Ken Lee, program design director, Nissan, talks about how in the same way that filmmakers combine artistry and innovative technology, the automaker has created the “impossibly smart Altima.”
The automaker also revealed the new 2019 Nissan Murano SUV and refreshed 2019 Nissan Maxima last week at the Los Angeles Auto Show.