Nissan Campaign Goes Full Throttle

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Nissan North America this month unveiled its most integrated marketing campaign for an individual car model to support the redesigned 2002 Altima.

"We are pulling no punches with this campaign, and we are coming out as aggressive as ever," said Peter Goodwin, corporate manager of marketing communications at Nissan North America, Gardena, CA. "The idea is to position this car as being distinct from the other two major competitors in the segment, the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry."

Nissan would not disclose the cost of the campaign, which includes direct mail, print and TV ads, and online advertising. Marketing across all channels is designed to drive people to their local Nissan dealers to make appointments to take a test drive of the new car. As an incentive Nissan is offering Kenneth Cole messenger bags and watches for people willing to take a test drive.

The direct mail campaign will continue through the end of the year to more than 800,000 people, most of whom are drivers who own or lease Nissan cars. Later this month 25,000 pieces will go out to people whose lease is up in less than six months.

Another 40,000 recipients requested more information on the Altima through information cards submitted at auto shows or returned business reply cards from print ads that ran in the August and September issues of magazines including GQ, Wired and Food & Wine. Those people will receive a more complex package with more information on the car as well as a special offer for test drive.

Two print campaigns begin in October in 23 titles. A 10-page piece will run in Time, Sports Illustrated, Money, Vanity Fair and several other publications. One-page ads will run in magazines including Esquire, National Geographic, Vogue and Details. The print campaign is scheduled to run throughout 2002.

Newspaper ads will also be run twice starting next month in USA Today.

All direct mail and print ads will direct people to a toll-free number or for more information.

On the Web Nissan will run banner ads and three 15-second interactive commercials placed on "sites we know people go looking for information about cars on," Goodwin said. Those sites include Car&, and

The car also will be promoted in coffee shops throughout the country using protective sleeves placed around cups. Goodwin said the sleeves will appear in most coffee shops in the country except Starbucks.

Nissan worked with Direct Partners, Los Angeles, a division of TBWA/Chiat/Day.

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