Infiniti Plays Up Japanese Heritage in Global Campaign


In its first global  campaign, Infiniti is showing off its Japanese roots.

The initiative seeks to drive home the brand’s association with Japanese-driven art and engineering and to make the Nissan brand’s marketing communications around the world more consistent.

The push comes as the 20-year-old North American-born brand steps up its rollout globally. Infiniti first started its international expansion in 1997 and moved into Western Europe and the U.K. in 2008—markets a comparable Japanese luxe brand, Toyota’s Lexus, has failed to crack. (Ironically, Infiniti is not marketed in Japan.)

Around that time, Infiniti set up a new global business unit to ensure consistent development of the brand globally. Some 18 months ago, Infiniti marketing executives met with counterparts at lead creative shop, TBWA\Chiat\Day, for a two-day summit to review Infiniti’s history of advertising as a way of distilling a core brand message.

The execs and the agency agreed that Infiniti's global work had often been too model-centric and future advertising had to support the brand and its Japanese pedigree.

“We looked at the core elements of Infiniti and one of the things we saw was that strong luxury brands reflect their national culture and heritage,” said Carl Phillips, senior manager, Infiniti global advertising and marketing. “To be true to who we are, we have to be authentic to the brand. Japanese influence plays a role in the value of the brand, and it’s quite a powerful point in differentiating ourselves.”

Phillips added: “Our past communications have done a great job in selling products, but there hasn’t been a holistic message out there about the brand.”

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