NISSAN UNVEILS AD PLANS FOR NEW TRUCK

$60 Million Campaign for Titan to Break Thanksgiving Day

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DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- Nissan North America is backing the launch of its first full-size pickup truck, the 2004 Nissan Titan, with five national commercials starting Thanksgiving Day.

The first commercial, a 60-second spot,

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will break during the National Football League game on Fox. The ads, like those for most trucks, show the Titan in action and tout its size, horsepower and towing capability.

Tagline in play
Nissan's ad agency, Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., retained the brand's "Shift" tagline. The first TV spot ends with "Shift the playing field." The agency's pre-launch 15-second pre-launch TV spots for Titan broke late last month.

The new campaign includes national print and outdoor advertising. Online executions will target lifestyle sites for hunters, fishermen and sports enthusiasts. Nissan said the media buy matches the vehicle's target of mostly males from 32 to 48.

The Titan, one of the first models from Nissan's new plant in Canton, Miss., pits the automaker against Detroit's last stronghold, the truck segment.

Spending plans
Nissan is expected to spend at least $60 million on the Titan launch, although by press time the automaker hadn't commented on its spending plans.

Ford Motor Co., meanwhile, which leads the category, is backing its redone 2004 F-150 pickup with $100 million-plus in media buys.

The automaker priced the Titan competitively, with a base suggested retail price starting at $22,400, topping out at $34,200. Nissan's first, full-year sales target is 100,000 Titans.

Stunning turnarounds
The Nissan division has introduced a slew of new and redone models this year and in the past few years has executed one of the industry's most stunning turnarounds. The automaker said its Nissan brand sales in North America rose by 1.8% through October to 563,627 units vs. a year ago.

Nissan spent $453 million in measured media through August 2003, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

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