POWER PLAY: A stream of stylish new and redone models coupled with smart advertising from TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif., have spurred increased sales for both brands through August. More buyers are putting the brands on their shopping lists. The automaker is contributing its fair share to soaring corporate profits of its Japanese parent. Nissan hired its first media auditor earlier this year to ensure targeting efficiencies; there have already been improvements with shuffling media buys, including more online ads and shifting dollars from broadcast network TV to cable. Mr. Connelly is using new buzz marketing techniques via Nissan's first urban shop, True Agency, New York.
DOWNSIDE: Nissan still needs to boost credibility for its first full-size pickup, the Titan, and its first full-size SUV, Armada, in these Detroit-dominated segments. The redesigned Quest minivan isn't meeting sales projections in a tough segment.