U.S. ad budget: $574 million for the first eight months of 2003, up 32%.
Nissan North America's star is rising after near-extinction just a few years ago. Armed with a slew of stylish new and redone Nissan and Infiniti models, the automaker says its North American sales rose by 6.3% through October, vs. a year ago, to 663,581 units. Nissan's North American rebirth reflects its global revival under the auspices of CEO Carlos Ghosn, the Renault AG executive put in charge of Nissan after the French carmaker bought a controlling interest in 1999.
Nissan brand's 2003 product assault included the new Murano sport-utility vehicle, redone Maxima sedan, new 350Z convertible, new Pathfinder Armada SUV, redone Quest minivan and new Titan full-size pickup. Infiniti, fueled by its new G35 coupe, new M45 sedan and new FX45 SUV, reached 100,000 vehicle sales here in November-a 14-year milestone for the luxury brand. The carmaker has managed to increase sales with below-industry incentives and executed one of the automotive category's most stunning turnarounds.
Omnicom Group's TBWA/Chiat Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., handles both. The shop's "Shift" tag for the Nissan Division carries across all its models. Nissan is also reaching out to hip-hop younger buyers through True Agency, New York.