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Marketer: Nissan

Agency: TBWA London (creative); Manning Gottlieb OMD (media)

Nissan's "24" sponsorship leads to integrated U.K. campaign exploring 24-related adventures

[London] To underline the "adventurous" credentials of its 4X4 range of cars, Nissan U.K. is evolving a successful sponsorship idea into an entire brand campaign for the coming year.

Last year, Nissan sponsored imported U.S. series "24" on Sky One by making a 24-minute short film, excerpts from which were used as 60-second spots throughout the series. The sponsorship aimed to shift brand perceptions among "24" viewers; this year Nissan wanted to take the campaign to a wider audience.

For 2006, creative agency TBWA London made four films based around the theme "Adventures on the 24th Parallel." To appeal to viewers who love unusual travel and experience, they show TV wildlife presenter Saba Douglas-Hamilton driving Nissan's cars off-road to destinations situated on this latitudinal line, like a diamond mine in Namibia and the salt flats of Argentina. Although basic storylines were in place before filming, scripts and locations were improvised to create a sense of "real-life" adventure and the unexpected happening.

The four films will each stretch over three weeks of the Nissan-sponsored current series of "24." In addition, footage from the films and the "24th parallel" theme will form the basis of Nissan's entire brand campaign for 2006. This will include TV and print ads, direct marketing and promotions, new media and coffee-table style books using photography from the filming. Nissan may also turn one of the films into a docudrama for TV.

"We wanted to establish the fact that Nissan could stand for adventure, and create a campaign that can also live out of the sponsorship," said Catherine Harris, account director at TBWA London. "And we loved this idea of exploring along a random line."

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