Americans are unclear about what Nissan has to offer, so ads will shift

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 27, 2010

Nissan is rolling out a new national ad campaign in the US that will focus the attention on Nissan as a brand instead of on individual models. Nissan's sales are increasing and its market share is widening, making business largely profitable. And when it comes to year-over-year sales growth, Nissan outpaces rivals Toyota, Honda and Hyundai.

However, Nissan aims to be perceived as a source of industry innovation; hence, the new ads will use the "Innovation for All". The redirection is expected to hit the airwaves starting this Saturday in conjunction with college football. More ads will be shown on Sept. 1. And beginning on Sept. 9, the ads will play during Sunday night NFL football broadcasts.

These ads will talk about technologies that made Nissan stand out for being an early mass-market adopter. These include keyless entry, brake overrides to electronic acceleration and the all-electric family sedan.

The ads will highlight the brand as the producer of the Leaf, the industry's first mass-production electric family vehicle that will start selling in December; and the Maxima, which is promoted as a cross between a sports car and a family sedan.

Jon Brancheau, vice president of Nissan marketing at Nissan North America Inc., said that the company has "done well" and has been "consistently and quietly" widening its share. However, focus groups indicate that potential conquest buyers were unclear about Nissan's product line.

In an interview with Automotive News at Nissan's US headquarters in Franklin, Tenn., Brancheau said that those who are owners of Nissan vehicles or who are familiar with the models have a "very favorable impression" of the company.

He pointed out that conquest prospects may be "all over the place" and "just go blank" when asked to describe Nissan. In March, Brancheau took over Nissan's marketing after having led US and global marketing for Infiniti the past year.

He said that Nissan's advertising lacks consistency. He also supervised Infiniti's brand-oriented campaign last year that's meant to help improve the luxury marque's consumer awareness. He said Nissan has been successful at increasing the share of some models, such as the Altima, but that it hasn't done the same for the Nissan brand. [via autonews - sub. required]

Topics: nissan, advertising

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