When Nissan moved its North American headquarters to Tennessee, Clarke Osborne stayed behind in Torrance, Calif.
|Clarke Osborne, product placement planner, Nissan North America|
For her automotive job, Southern California is the place to be. As Nissan North America's product placement planner, Ms. Osborne oversees the entertainment strategies for the Nissan and Infiniti brands. And that means staying close to Hollywood.
Ms. Osborne, 37, made the right choice with "Heroes," the NBC series that became one of the few new TV breakout hits. She'd been looking for a show that could provide Nissan with a 360-degree opportunity to let consumers know about the tie-in. That meant integrations of the Versa, Altima and Armada vehicles into the show, as well as a promotion around the series premiere through iTunes and media buys during the show, online and in theaters. "At Nissan we're trying to move into that direction and do things that have more extensions," she says.
Before "Heroes," Ms. Osborne brokered a deal with ABC's "Desperate Housewives," landing Nissan cars and trucks prominent placements on the show over the past three seasons. Before that, she also had Nissan back "StarTomorrow," an online music competition produced by NBC, and two seasons of "El Reto Final Nissan," a soccer-based reality show that aired on Fox Sports en Español.
Ms. Osborne collaborates with Nissan's media buyer, OMD, to time which projects might fit with vehicles being rolled out.
"Because we're such a media-based company, we have great relationships with the networks," she says. "You just get more control, value and a better way to measure your ROI. With film ... you never know what you're getting."
But she's not ruling out film projects. The company's Altima is in Warner Bros.' "License to Wed," starring Robin Williams and due for release next month.