Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Marty’s Marketing Minutia: Taking Gas

Memorial Day special edition.

by on May.27, 2011

Nissan's new ad campaign examines a world where everything is powered by gas.

Nissan Leaf ad asks what would happen if everything used gas

Have you filled the tank of your new Nissan Leaf?  Excuse me? Nissan’s new Leaf campaign takes a tongue-in-cheek look at what would happen if everything in our daily lives used gasoline and the problems that would cause. This somewhat different approach comes from the brand’s creative manifesto which, in part asks, “What if everything ran on gas? No electricity. No renewables. Just gas.” Like your alarm clock and your dentist’s drill’

But everything doesn’t run on gas,” the series points out. “Most things run on electricity, which is clan, and quiet and uses fewer parts, and needs less maintenance. Most things can be plugged in and charged up and don’t need a tank or a pump.”

News You Can Use!

And the payoff is of course the all-electric Leaf.  When questioned about this approach, Jon Brancheau, Nissan’s vice president of marketing commented, “By using humor and asking the simple question, ‘what if everything ran on gas’ we’re able to rationally make the case that electric cars’ time has arrived.”

The campaign is a full multimedia push using television, online, print and direct marketing to convey the message. And the campaign, which breaks Monday, Memorial Day, takes every day products and situations and injects gas-powered-humor to sell the Leaf with these four :15-second teaser commercials:

Faster than a speeding Marmon…

Alarm clock teaser

Office :15 teaser

Kitchen :15 teaser

Dentist :15 teaser

Then in the next phase, starting June 10, this :60-second commercial will run along with web takeovers of YouTube and Yahoo among others. Additionally print and direct mail will also launch. Click Here.

Will be interesting to see what happens with this new approach. The campaign was created and produced by TBWA Chiat-Day.

Mille Miglia Coming to America in August

Just say the name Mille Miglia to lovers of classic European cars and you’ll get instant recognition. This prestigious 83-year-old auto event is run every May in Italy from Brescia to Bologna to Rome and back by only 375 carefully screened and scrutinized vehicles manufactured in Europe prior to 1957. No American vehicles are eligible, although a Ford Thunderbird and a Chrysler did sneak in decades ago. The drivers and co-drivers come from an elite group of auto company executives, Euro-autophiles, racecar drivers, owners of great auto collections and others who want the recognition, fame and glory of just driving in the race.

Well that exclusionary, discriminatory rule against American vehicles is over, done, fine. An American version of the Mille Miglia open to American automobiles will be held in California from August 14 to 17.  It will be the work of the California-based entertainment company, Stratus Media Group, which made the announcement at the conclusion of the Italian race. The American version is fully sanctioned, authorized and approved by the Italian owners.

The inaugural American Mille Miglia will reflect the tradition and stringent requirements of the Italian race and will be run in California along historic back roads through Monterey, Santa Barbara, Napa and San Francisco prior to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, according to Paul Feller, president and CEO of Stratus.  Only 300 vehicles will be selected this year – and to qualify they must have been manufactured between 1927 and 1947. For full information, Click Here.

New BMW 5-Series Commercial – need a cupa Joe?

There’s no Starbuck product placement in the new commercial featuring the driver of a BMW 5-Series getting a hot cup of coffee from a tanker airplane flying overhead. If this is any indication of the type of ads that will be replacing the joyless joy campaign and retain the ultimate driving machine feeling and tone, then good things are going to happen.

But I was literally jolted from my sofa when the new commercial appeared ‘cause it was from BMW, a brand not exactly known for adding humor to its advertising. The beginning does not look like any car commercial I’ve ever seen and continues that way till about midway through when the car and purpose comes through. It’s a unique way of extolling the 5-Series 32 mpg rating.  See for yourself, Click Here.

Indy 500 Stamp Issued

A new postage stamp marking the centennial of one of the world’s most famous automobile races was introduced last Friday, or Fast Friday, the start of qualification runs for the main event, scheduled for May 29, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  On May 30, 1911, approximately 80,000 spectators gathered at the Speedway to witness the first running of the Indianapolis 500. Driving a Marmon “Wasp” he designed, Ray Harroun beat 39 other drivers to win with a time of 6 hours, 42 minutes and 8 seconds. A century later, the Indy 500 has become an American cultural phenomenon rich in ceremony and tradition and is hailed as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

The car was built by the Indianapolis-based Marmon Motor Car Company and included one of Harroun’s own inventions, the rearview mirror. Today, it is a prime attraction at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. The Indianapolis 500 Forever Stamp is always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.

Ordering First-Day-of-Issue Postmarks is simple. Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at local Post Offices, at The Postal Store website, or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others, and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:

Indianapolis 500 Stamp
125 West South Street
Indianapolis, IN 46206-9998

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by July 20, 2011.

A few websites offer interesting stamps featuring automobiles one of the best is just click on the automobile category to see 1239 different stamps, all priced for collectors.

The best 50 auto commercials?

If rain ruins your cookout, golf game or tennis match this weekend and you’re in a nostalgic mood or bored, check out this site for their arguable list of the best 50 car commercials of all time. If nothing else it’s a trip down memory lane. Click Here.

Another Interesting site to explore

A pal in NY suggested looking at The Inspiration Room and I did. It’s an interesting creative archive, collaborative effort and community site that was first established in 2006. The site provides the latest and classic creative inspirations from television, print, ambient and interactive advertising, music videos, photography and design. The articles on submissions sent directly from agencies, production houses, photographers, sound and music companies, PR companies. Click Here.

BMW & Mini capitalizing on capital in social media

It’s just your friendly captive finance organization reaching out via the brand’s FaceBook social media site stay in touch with their customers in a finance-friendly manner. And according to the release it’s the first OEM finance group to do so.

When I first read the release wondered why did the brand’s think this was a big deal.  So I asked, “What percentage of BMWs and Mini’s are financed through the company’s finance group?” Believe the answer fully explains why: 81.7% of BMW’s and 65.6% of Mini’s are sold/leased through the company.  I have no comparative numbers, but this appears to be an exceptionally high percentage which certainly speaks to dealers F&I’s importance in the sales and marketing process.

The launch of a dedicated BMW Financial Services tab provides Financial Services information designed to increase brand awareness as well as offer up products in a Facebook-friendly format.  It can be found under the “Financial Services” tab at  Viewers can view the content and become a fan.

Fans and visitors to the MINI Financial Services Facebook page can view equally engaging Facebook-friendly content, designed to capture the attention of the growing social media audience.  Typical Mini content can be found within the “World of MINI” tab which highlights the MINI “Protection” viral video; MINI Financial Services Mobile website for smartphone users; and the “Liquid Assets” game which can be downloaded directly through a link to the iTunes App Store.

Test drive an Infiniti … get a taste of epicurean life

Call it food for thought if you will, but Infiniti, AmEx Publishing and Time are continuing last year’s joint digital media program in which Infiniti will create customized experiences within various consumer epicurean events, presented by Cooking Light, Food & Wine, Southern Living, Sunset and Travel + Leisure, which will be promoted collaboratively through print, digital and social media.
Called the “Road to Inspiration” was announced to consumers in issues of Cooking Light, Food & Wine, Southern Living, Sunset and Travel + Leisure, with an ad introducing the Infiniti Inspiration Lounge and a full year calendar of events where consumers may visit the Lounge to interact with the luxury automobile and get a taste of the epicurean way of life.

“Infiniti owners have a taste for the best things in life and are constantly seeking out new experiences, venues and adventures,” said Infiniti Americas Vice President Ben Poore.  “We’re pleased to once again be joining forces with American Express Publishing and Time Inc. in helping our customers navigate the ‘Road to Inspiration.’”


This live event strategy will be complemented by a digital media presence.  Consumers will be able to enter a sweepstakes to win a trip for two to one of their favorite U.S. food cities.  This sweepstakes will be promoted via a 2-D tag within the print creative, social media tools and at each event. The lineup of events includes:

  • Sunset’s San Francisco Chefs 2011, August 1-7
  • Los Angeles Times and Food & Wine’s The Taste, September 2-5
  • Travel + Leisure’s Global Bazaar, New York City, September 16-18
  • Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival, September 23-25
  • Sunset Savor the Central Coast, San Luis Obispo, September 29 – October 2
  • Southern Living Taste of Charleston, October 8-9
  • Food & Wine All-Star Weekend, Las Vegas, October 21-23
  • San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival brought to you by Cooking Light, November 16-20

Enjoy the Memorial Day Holiday by remembering those now serving and those who gave their lives so we may have freedom.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.