Nissan Takes High-Energy Ride

Ornelas Breaks Automaker’s First Major Hispanic TV Campaign
DALLAS–Nissan North America launched its first major Spanish-language television campaign last week via Ornelas & Associates, its Latino agency.
Three 30-second TV spots feature Nissan’s 2000 year Altima midsize sedan and Frontier Crew Cab truck, both in panoramic clips of fast-moving vehicles accompanied by rock or techno music.
“It’s a lot more high energy [than] what you usually see in Spanish-language car advertising,” said agency president Victor Ornelas. “The cars are the heroes.”
During its pitch for the account this summer, the agency showed Nissan ads from three other car manufacturers. The work portrayed fathers, mothers and children to appeal to the perceived family-oriented values of Hispanics. Ornelas proposed something different.
“It’s very traditional, very stereotypical, as if there’s only one Latino family in America,” he explained. “Family values are great, but that’s not all that we’re about.”
Indeed, one of the commercials gets a bit racy with its opening line, “ÀSe te va a parar?” which translates as “Do you want to get excited?”
“When we originally presented it, we thought it might be too edgy for the client . . . but the focus group’s response was tremendous,” Ornelas said.
The campaign encompasses television, radio and outdoor in 10-13 markets. The media budget was not disclosed, although industry observers estimated the broadcast portion of Nissan’s Hispanic advertising topped $3 million in 1998. Nissan officials also said the minority budget has doubled this year, which would place the campaign in the $6 million range.
The automaker spent $340.6 million on general market advertising in 1998, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
The “Sobrepasa” (overtakes or surpasses) tagline was selected as the Spanish-language equivalent to Nissan’s general market “Driven” campaign.
Ornelas & Associates, based in Dallas, is a Latino-owned agency with more than $25 million in annual billings.
The shop’s client roster also includes Anheuser-Busch, Bank One Corp. and Taco Bell.