One participant described the experience as: "This is crazy." Another was left speechless, while a third said: "I would never imagine a four-door car could do this." All three were part of a new Nissan marketing campaign titled "Ride of Your Life" that highlights the 2014 Nissan Altima, one of the top-selling cars in the U.S. The campaign was created to drive traffic to ChooseNissan.com and create excitement leading into Nissan's model year-end national sales event.
"The 'Ride of Your Life' campaign shows off the performance DNA that lives inside every Nissan and will help engage consumers nationwide, creating positive, lively conversation online and in person as we enter upon our year-end sales event," said Jon Brancheau, vice president, marketing communications and media, Nissan North America, Inc. "With a blend of performance, technology, superior fuel economy and more, Nissan vehicles are intended to give drivers the ride of their lives."
In a TV spot slated to launch next week, Nissan intends to deliver a powerful message that the Altima is undoubtedly the most exciting sedan on the road. Led by director Brent Jones of Humble, production designer Page Buckner (Transformers, Spiderman, Iron Man 2) and event managers from Match Action, participants (real people, not paid actors) were selected to receive rides around the Horse Thief Mile at Willow Springs Raceway in what was marketed as "Nissan's most advanced Altima racecar."
The catch? The vehicle was actually a standard Altima dressed as a racecar. When the vehicle – which looked, sounded, smelled, felt and performed like a racecar – was stripped of its dressing following the ride, participants were shocked, left only to look at each other in disbelief. They couldn't believe a sedan could feature such dynamic and inspiring performance.
"There's no better way to market our cars than by highlighting the incredible performance that pulsates within the Altima each and every time it is driven," added Brancheau.
Creating Buzz in L.A.
To ignite conversation, one of the "racecar" Altimas will be driven around Los Angeles prior to the ad's launch. Signage on the vehicle will invite people to find out what's going on via the hashtag #NissanROYL. Once the hashtag is posted via Twitter or other social media outlets, people will be encouraged to view the promotional video footage derived from the TV spot, thus continuing the conversation.
In addition to daily Twitter interaction on the Altima Twitter pages, Nissan will invite customers to share creative expressions via Snapchat of what driving a Nissan feels like to them. The best Snapchat responses will then be entered for the opportunity to win prizes such as a PlayStation 4.