“Driven’ Enters Phase II

TBWA/C/D Airs 6 New Spots for Nissan
LOS ANGELES-Extreme sports enthusiasts are in and auto designer Jerry Hirshberg is out in Phase II of Nissan North America’s “Driven” campaign from TBWA/Chiat/Day. Six commercials, which focus on the Xterra SUV and Maxima sedan, break next week.
The Xterra television spots, which show kayakers and surfers risking their lives, tout accessories like heavy-duty roof racks and integrated first-aid kits that are likely to appeal to the vehicle’s target market, which is males aged 24-39. A voiceover goes on to say, “Everything you need. Nothing you don’t” and “Choose your sick days wisely.”
Maxima spots target males around 40 years old. They show the speeding car kicking up dust and images of the vehicle’s interior interspersed with copy such as “Years in development: 5,” “Hours spent obsessing: 303,184” and “Cars like it: 0.” The Nissan logo and “Driven” tag close all of the spots.
TBWA/C/D’s account director on Nissan, Robert LePlae, said ideas for the Xterra campaign were bounced off outdoor types at trail heads and beaches. Nissan is hoping Xterra will find a niche between full-sized SUVs like the Explorer and smaller vehicles like Honda’s CRV, added the client’s marketing director, Ed Sheehy.
The Maxima is being positioned for consumers who may already be driving a Nissan but who want a sedan with more power and amenities than models from Toyota or Honda, Sheehy said.
LePlae has replaced the agency’s previous worldwide account director, Tom Patty, who left last June.
Spending on Phase II was not disclosed, but Nissan spent $35 million in the first two months of 1999 and $340 million in ’98. The campaign includes outdoor, print, Web and direct components.
Nissan sales have been strong this year, with April sales up 23 percent and May up 9 percent over the same months last year, Sheehy said.
LaPlae said Hirshberg will return to support the Frontier Crew Cab, Pathfinder and Quest minivan.