AvantGo Drives New Nissan 2004 Maxima Campaign

In February 2003, eMarketer analyst Noah Elkin wrote, "The Internet clearly has not produced complete disintermediation in the automotive buying process, as excited technophiles might have once been heard to say, but it has nonetheless become a vital component in that process."

Elkin went on to say that the Internet is not a channel that manufacturers or dealers can afford to overlook. Rather, he wrote, it must be tied in seamlessly with offline channels.

The Nissan Motor Company, which has long ranked in the top ten amongst automotive advertisers online, is taking that idea further, but harnessing the power of the AvantGo mobile Internet service to extend its "Shift_" campaign to mobile and wireless devices.

Nissan has just launched a pioneering affinity marketing campaign for the Nissan 2004 Maxima called the "Mobile Concierge" that packages advertising for the new car with entertainment content for consumers. The Maxima Mobile Concierge includes restaurant, nightlife, hotel, business service, museum listings and other localized information licensed from 10Best, an award-winning premium destination content company. Consumers can now access information for the 25 top U.S. cities and vacation destinations via their personal digital assistants, or PDAs.

Developed for Nissan by advertising house TBWA/Chiat/Day, the Mobile Concierge campaign contains branding banners that link to a 2004 Maxima microsite designed specifically for PDAs. The mobile microsite includes vehicle specifications as well as interior and exterior images highlighting performance and luxury aspects of the car.

According to Peter Marcin, Maxima marketing manager at Nissan North America, Inc., "AvantGo is the perfect cutting-edge technology to reach an upscale audience of nine million. With the Mobile Concierge, we're offering comprehensive entertainment information to consumers, while presenting the 2004 Maxima on a unique mobile platform, complete with its hip, sleek branding intact."

What's most encouraging, Marcin said, is that "sales volume of the new model has already been notable among both new and previous Maxima drivers."

Incidentally, according to Forrester Research, the most important source of automotive information, according to new car buyers in the U.S. in 2003, is Consumer Reports (cited by 74% of respondents,) followed by non-car company websites (68%), advice from friends (61%), car company websites (59%) and auto dealership personnel (57%).

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