Monday, 30 April 2012

Nissan turns Facebook campaign into TV show with Rogers

Nissan turns Facebook campaign into TV show with Rogers

April 30, 2012

It started out solely as a social media initiative. Somewhere along the way, however, Rogers Broadcasting hitched a half-hour ride with the “Nissan Innovation Challenge.”
The marketing vehicle — which launched in November as a Facebook-specific initiative — pulled into Rogers-owned Citytv on Sunday, in the form of a half-hour TV special that aired immediately prior to Canada’s Got Talent.

The program originally launched with a simple challenge to Canadians via Facebook: in 140 words or less, define what innovation means to you for the opportunity to create a national TV spot for Nissan and win a Nissan vehicle of your choice.
The original call-to-action attracted 8,000 submissions that were judged by Nissan Canada and representatives from two of its agency partners, TBWA (president Jay Bertram) and Capital C (CEO Tony Chapman), on criteria including clear/concise communication, emotion, creativity and originality.
The top 200 entrants were then asked to submit a short video connecting their vision of innovation to a specific Nissan brand, with the automaker asking its 49,000-strong Facebook community to vote on their favourites.
The top five finalists were then invited to a Toronto studio to pitch their ideas to the judges, a process that was originally going to be chronicled through a series of same-day webisodes on Facebook.
That, said Nissan Canada director of marketing, Judy Wheeler, is when things took a turn for the unexpected.
“We literally created three webisodes under the premise that we were going to keep it 100% social media,” said Wheeler. “After the first one went out, Rogers contacted us. We met with them and decided we would put the last two webisodes on hold and… Rogers basically came along for the ride.”
Nissan turned over the webisode footage to Rogers, which subsequently cut it down into the 30-minute TV show that aired Sunday. Airing right before Canada’s Got Talent also amplified Nissan’s sponsorship of the show.
“I said ‘If you’re going to place it, can we place it where the two are close to each other so we can make it all work a little bit harder for us?’” said Wheeler.
The broadcast also features behind-the-scenes footage of a night-time commercial shoot incorporating the winning contestant’s idea, while viewers are also driven back to Nissan’s Facebook page where they can watch the full webisodes.
“We stayed true to everything that we wanted,” said Wheeler. “We created three webisodes, got social media buzz, and even when people watch the TV show they can go back to our Facebook page.”
“It was not where we started with our thinking and… the show itself was a bit rushed, but it’s kind of interesting,” said Wheeler.
Several markets, including Japan, have already commissioned the commercial spot. In Canada, the spot will enter regular TV rotation Tuesday. It will feature the automaker’s new global positioning, “Innovation that excites.”
Wheeler said the “Nissan Innovation Challenge” surpassed its objectives in several key areas. Facebook likes, for example, were double what had been anticipated.
Wheeler characterized 2012 as a “big launch year” for Nissan with four new product launches. The consumer feedback and insight the company received as part of the contest will inform its future efforts in getting people involved with its new product line. The company is already involved in pre-sell activity for its 2013 Nissan Altima, she said

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