Nissan has been aggressive with TikTok marketing of late. But regulatory and political pressure is rising on the app over its Chinese ownership. How are you dealing with this? Will you continue to use TikTok in marketing?
We are still engaged with TikTok, we still see them as a viable partner—because that's where consumers are. We are obviously watching this very, very closely and staying on top of data sharing—is there a safety issue? That’s not just related to TikTok, that is across all of our partners.
What advice have you gotten from Omnicom and other agency partners on TikTok?
If it comes to the point where we need to pull back, then we will pull back. And these are active discussions that we have with our agency team all the time.
TikTok has begun offering search advertising options. Are you experimenting with this?
We haven’t done anything related to that yet. It’s a little bit of a wait-and-see, and see what the performance is. We are trying to balance what are the right types of formats for us to be involved in. We saw more opportunity with March Madness and TikTok Now just because it is capitalizing on that cultural moment.
Read more: How Nissan is using TikTok now for March Madness
Are you advertising on Twitter?
We don't currently have any advertising running.
Has this been the case since Musk took over?
It has been the case since late 2022. [Editor’s note: Musk assumed control of Twitter on Oct. 27]
There are open topics that we are working on with Twitter when it comes to safety as well as the perceived competitive nature of the ownership and how we can work around that.
By that you mean that Musk also runs Telsa, which has become more of a Nissan competitor as Nissan sells more EVs? Will that always be a concern as long as Musk is at Twitter?
Until we can understand more on the data sharing side and the information there, yeah, that will be a concern.
When you shared your promotion news this week on LinkedIn, you noted that it came on International Women’s Day, and added, “to all the women and little girls out there...keep dreaming big. We've got this!” What is your advice to women who might want to be a CMO someday?
I have learned that you are much more capable and competent, and able to influence a room, than you think. It’s easy to say, well, just be confident in yourself. But you really need to believe in yourself. Because that is what's gonna get you through some of those tougher moments when you're being challenged or things are happening that are new or unfamiliar to you. You really need to believe in yourself and know that you can work through that and know that there's a bright future behind ahead of you.
Explain your role in naming the Ariya EV?
I was working in Japan, I was in global marketing. And we were in early preparation for what is now the Ariya. And I was a part of the naming committee, which is the committee that names all of our products.
And we were brainstorming ideas, we had ideas that were coming in around the world. And we were going through all of those and we were starting to put some on the wall. And I brought up [my niece’s name] Ariya, and it means lioness, which is a female lion. And the positioning for the vehicle is very much this elegant beast. It’s a very powerful vehicle, but it has this beautiful interior and exterior.
The name goes on the board, you don't really think anything of it, and then the name starts to get narrowed down. And naming is a very democratic process. And so it goes through several layers of, committees and trademark and reviews. And it just kind of kept moving up the list. And finally, it went to the CEO. And that is the name of the car.
What was your niece’s reaction?
She's nine years old. And she's very excited.
Read more: TikTok creators promote Nissan's Ariya