Nissan plans flashy comeback at Detroit Auto Show with new brand smell

Article by Anita Panait, on January 9, 2013

Nissan Motor Co. is aiming to make a strong statement at the Detroit Auto Show scheduled next week, following years of keeping a low profile at a number of auto shows in the United States. Armed with a new trademark “brand smell,” Nissan hopes to make itself memorable in the eyes of the driving public.

The Japanese carmaker’s newly found aroma, dubbed as thé vert oriental in French, offers the smell of green tea "during Chinese spring harvest" and will radiate from a flashy interactive display that Nissan is unveiling in Detroit. According to Erich Marx, the brand's director for interactive and social-media marketing, the carmaker is hoping that the "brand smell" will become a big hit among auto show visitors around the US to the point that that its retailers in the country will agree to use the fragrance in their showrooms.

Marx remarked that their dealers will embrace the brand smell as they measure its reception. Marx disclosed that a global team has been planning both the new brand smell and how to make a big return splash at a number of auto shows in 2013.

Nissan withdrew from the Detroit auto show in January 2009 when the US economy fell into recession. Then the carmaker barely made some noise following shows in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. Nissan also did not participate in the main Detroit show floor in 2010, opting to operate a salon outside the hall. In 2011 and 2012, Nissan made smaller Detroit displays.

Marx said while Nissan “stepped away” year ago, it is making a comeback now, aiming to become the must-see booth at the Detroit show next week. He noted that this is an acknowledgment that auto shows are an important way to make a statement about “who we are.” He also quipped that timing is important, noting that Nissan launched five important vehicles in 15 months, and the carmaker wants to show them off in way that “does them justice."

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