Nissan's Rogue Joins Cast of 'Heroes'

NBC Show Key Vehicle for Automaker's Launch of Small SUV

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DETROIT -- Nissan North America will have an encore performance on NBC's hit "Heroes," acting again as the sole TV advertiser, with limited interruption, during the show's sophomore season premiere Sept. 24. But that's just the beginning, as the automaker will ride along with "Heroes" wherever consumers encounter the show.

Nissan North America will use the season premiere of 'Heroes' next month to debut a new, compact SUV, the Rogue.


Nissan will use the series premiere to unveil a premiere of its own, its small SUV, the Rogue, said Steve Kerho, Nissan's director-interactive marketing and media. Nissan has four minutes of commercial time during the show's first episode, and the Rogue will also appear in the program throughout the season as part of a product-integration deal.

Pleased with first deal
The automaker was pleased with the results for last season's "Heroes" partnership; the show's viewers were twice as likely to recall the Nissan model spots compared to ads from rival automakers and the brand's click-through rate from NBC.com was three times its average.

This year's multiplatform media buy, from Omnicom Group's OMD West, Los Angeles, repeats a heavy online presence, Mr. Kerho said. It includes a one-day roadblock on NBC.com during the premier, a two-day roadblock on the "Heroes" section of NBC.com and NBC's first one-day roadblock the day after the premier on NBC Rewind (an area on NBC.com where viewers can see shows the next day) .

NBC will buy five Rogues, each to be driven and personalized in some way by a single "Heroes" cast member and given away nightly in a sweepstakes the week of Sept. 24. The network will promote the sweepstakes on the air as well as via non-broadcast elements, Mr. Kerho said.

The network also plans a "Heroes" music video that will include the Rogue SUV, to be distributed over NBC's wireless platform, NBC 2 Go. In addition, the carmaker is studying whether to extend one of the bands appearing in the music video to shoot a live concert for the co-branded "Nissan's Live Sets on Yahoo Music," Mr. Kerho said.

Nissan also has the rights to use artwork from the "Heroes" graphic novel and TV program logos in other advertising and promotions.

World tour
The first season of "Heroes" was released Aug. 27 on DVD, on which Nissan has a trailer. The automaker is also participating in a world tour of the "Heroes" cast.

Mr. Kerho declined to discuss specific spending for the deal. The automaker spent $36 million in measured media across NBC TV properties last season from Sept. 1, 2006, to May 1, 2007, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

"Heroes" turned out to be NBC's top-rated scripted show last season, with an average of 14.3 million viewers per episode. "TV is still a very important medium for us," Mr. Kerho said. "No other medium scales as well."
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