In Good Voice for the Nissan Titan

LOS ANGELES A spot for the Nissan Titan pickup truck by Omnicom’s TWBA\Chiat\Day takes a page from specialty-magazine endorsements, said the agency’s creative director. The 30-second ad, which broke during the NBA finals, starts its full national and cable TV run the week of June 28, the agency said.

Themed “Some trucks deserve a little praise,” the “Singing Its Praises” spot uses rugged footage of the vehicles and quotes in titles declaring some of its awards, such as “Four-Wheeler Magazine Pickup Truck of the Year” and “Tow Vehicle of the Year.”

The spot—made under TBWA\C\D creative director Joe Shands and directed by RSA Films commercial and music-video director Samuel Bayer (“Smells Like Teen Spirit”)—employs the Mississippi Gospel Choir to belt out the credits in a traditional call-and-response style. For example, a male lead begins, “Sport Truck Magazine proclaims…” and the choir answers, “…Sport Truck of the Year!”

“Right out of the shoot the Titan made a huge impact, as the first, true full-size imported pickup,” said Shands, creative director at the Playa del Rey, Calif., agency. “As the awards came in, we knew we wanted to talk about its accolades. But most accolade spots get tired. They’re invisible, cut from the same cloth. They come off like chest-beating versus celebrating.”

Shands said the agency found the gospel choir near the Nissan factory in Canton, Miss., where the Titan is made. “The plant has made a real difference in the community,” he said. “So it was natural: You want to sing its praises? We literally sang its praises.”

Shands worked with associate creative directors Mike Yagi and Chris Lynch under executive creative director Rob Schwartz on the ad. “We saw it as an opportunity to do something different in the category,” said Shands. “You can’t watch this spot without smiling or moving.”

The Gardena, Calif., client launched Titan with a $31 million campaign in 2003, spending $43 million through April 2004, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.