NISSAN - A MICRA REVOLUTION

ClientNISSAN IRELAND
Category A05. Automotive
TitleNISSAN - A MICRA REVOLUTION
Product/ServiceNISSAN MICRA
Entrant IN THE COMPANY OF HUSKIES Dublin, IRELAND
Idea Creation IN THE COMPANY OF HUSKIES Dublin, IRELAND
Production IN THE COMPANY OF HUSKIES Dublin, IRELAND
Credits
Name Company Position
Damian Hanley In the Company of Huskies Creative Director
Nessa Van rooyen In the Company of Huskies Account Director
Ciaran Walsh In the Company of Huskies Producer
Brian Daly In the Company of Huskies Head of Production
Nick Kelly In the Company of Huskies Art Director
Dermot Malone Banjoman Films Director
David Hayes In the Company of Huskies Head of Social and Digital

Background

Sales for Nissan Micra in Ireland were falling since 2011. A new design was developed for the car but would that be enough in a country that scoffed at the idea of driving a “granny car”. With Nissan Micra global sales tanking, Nissan came close to killing the Micra brand, instead, they redesigned it. In Ireland, Micra was seen as a pensioner’s car. Even motoring correspondents made fun of it with comments like “no one ever aspired to a Micra, you just ended up with one if life didn’t go your way”. We eschewed European assets and developed a bespoke Irish campaign in a bid to revitalise a dying car in a declining segment. The objectives 1. Double sales compared to the 2010 launch - Increase Micra’s segment share from 5% to 10% 2. Recruit new Micra owners 3. Repositioning Micra brand to a younger more gender-balanced urban audience

Describe the strategy

The redesigned Micra had real attitude and so should the campaign. We wanted to craft a campaign unlike other campaigns, that wasn't confined to the same formats. Instead, it had to be entertaining, culturally relevant, emotionally engaging and really showcase the car. Consumers can choose from over 350 models. Micra buyers were traditional B segment value buyers. They buy cars for functional reasons like price, fuel consumption and reliability. Unsurprisingly research highlighted that people were disengaged with this dull segment, driven by apathy, one third always buy the same model. Our brief was to give Micra a more universal appeal and edge to target a younger urban audience who are advertising literate and cynical of formulaic advertising. Our key insight was that self-expression is important for the target audience who believe their car expresses their personality. They want to be seen as independently minded with a car they’re proud of.

Describe the execution

We created a short film, inspired by people’s attitudes towards the older Micra, and how these preconceptions should be cast aside. The all-new Micra, however, isn’t a car you should mess with; it’s a leader in style, technology and innovation. The response got the new Micra talked about across multiple social channels. A strategic influencer outreach push formed a teaser campaign and “leaks”, targeting people who are naturally eager to learn about a new car. The Micra went from being an undesirable pensioners’ car, to an earring-wearing, tattooed model in one campaign / The primary platforms for the short film were Youtube and Facebook and this was supported offline by cinema exhibition and an ATL campaign. From start to finish and including production time the campaign was 3 months in duration. And the Irish public loved it. With over 1,320,000 video views.

List the results

The campaign was a radical departure from previous car advertising and Nissan Europe. The Sun said, the Irish team “have rewritten the book for how car commercials are made around the world” resulting in acclaim for the agency and Irish operation that had the confidence to back its own plan. The strategy successfully reversed Nissan’s decline in the small car segment 1. It increased sales by a massive 106% in launch year. 2. It doubled its share of the small car segment to 10% whereas other European markets maintained a 2-4% share after launch. 3. Nissan smashed its segment ranking in Europe versus other markets, jumping 6 places in less than a year. 4. 100% more cars were sold than the last Micra launch in 2010. 5. Budget management resulted in a very positive ROMI which resulted in us receiving the grand prix prize at Ireland’s premier advertising effectiveness awards.