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Nissan to Promote Pathfinder With Multi-Media Campaign

Nissan North America, Gardena, CA, is about to embark on a marketing campaign to promote the 2001 Pathfinder SUV and also began this week another campaign for the new 2000 Sentra.

Both campaigns will include all major forms of media and will target pre-existing Nissan owners as well as prospective owners.

Throughout the month, the company will send informational inserts about the new Pathfinder in monthly statements to its 84,000 customers leasing Nissan cars and SUVs. Another 635,000 statement stuffers will go out to people who have leased cars through the Nissan Motor Acceptance Corp. This list will include non-Nissan owners.

Starting next month, the general launch will be mailed to 400,000 owners and select prospects. Nissan worked with its ad agency, TBWA-Chiat, Marina Del Rey, CA, on designing all artwork and commercials for the campaigns.

“Because of how confident we feel with our product, we will be going after Grand Cherokee and Toyota 4Runner owners with this mailing as well,” said Gary Van Houten, model line manager for Pathfinder. “And 100,000 of those 400,000 will receive a test-drive certificate. Those who come in for the test drive will have the opportunity to choose a gift of either a Swiss Army watch or a picnic backpack.”

Van Houten said the mailer will resemble a mini-brochure asking people to visit the Web site or call a toll-free number for more information about setting up a test drive. The Pathfinder campaign also will include sending targeted e-mail to 100,000 names, to which Nissan has access through a partnership with film director Warren Miller. The message will include a downloadable test-drive certificate.

“The people who watch his films and visit his site are the types of people we want to market this automobile to,” Van Houten said. “These are people who ski and snowboard and who would be interested in a car like the Pathfinder.”

The first television commercial for the Pathfinder will begin airing on network TV next week. A four-page advertising spread also will appear in this month’s issues of more than 23 magazines, including Forbes, Fortune, Gourmet, Golf Digest, Tennis, Golf Magazine and Time Business. The ads will contain information on the car and direct people to visit the Web site or call the toll-free number for more information or to set up a test drive. Nissan also will put up billboards in the top 10 Pathfinder markets next month.

Commercials for the Sentra began airing last week on network and cable TV. Print ads have been appearing since February in issues of 15 publications that attract a younger female audience than Nissan had previously marketed the car to.

“The skew of this campaign is going to be about 60 percent female,” said Mitch Davis, model line manager for Sentra.

The four-page spread contains information on the car as well as a ride-along at the end asking people to visit the Web site or call a toll-free number to receive a brochure and a CD-ROM. The CD acts as a virtual brochure and contain 10 songs that people can listen to in their CD player.

Later next week, Nissan will send out 50,000 mail pieces, which will include the CD-ROM and in some cases a test-drive certificate. Nissan compiled the prospects' names from people who have responded to the previous print ads, visited the Web site or had said they wanted more information on the car earlier in the year.

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