Japanese automaker Nissan recently launched its popular GT Academy initiative in India. The company is treating it like a brand promotion campaign with a campaign that includes OOH, mall activations, radio and print coverage.
The GT Academy is in its sixth year and has already seen success in Europe, Russia, South Africa, the Middle East and the US. Nissan describes it as a“driver discovery and development programme” and has tied up with Sony PlayStation for the promotions. “Getting into motorsports is expensive so this is an opportunity for people who want to get into this sport but were not able to. We will be holding the qualifying rounds on racing simulators. The 14 participants with the fastest lap timings will be selected for the national finals which will be held at the end of June. From these, we will further select six for a camp at Silverstone in UK,” informed a Nissan spokesperson.Apart from this, there will be a separate digital qualification process, which will yield another 14 participants. This leg of the activity will be handled by Sony.
The qualifying rounds will be held in malls in 5 cities—Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad. The Delhi and Mumbai legs are over with the Hyderabad activation expected to be on April 17 and 20. The spokesperson informed us that more than 2,000 participants had taken part in the activity, with more than 20 registrations for GT Academy in Delhi and Mumbai. “In India, we have targeted shopping malls because unfocused groups are also a TG for us. We want even those not interested in motor sports to participate. Through this activity we are reaching out to people with the message that we don’t only make cars but are also focus on the performance aspect,” he said.
Nissan is also creating a “racetrack experience” at mall car parks with audio tracks that replicate crowds cheering and engine noises. Team members dressed up as pit crew are also being used to generate buzz. Another innovative concept Nissan being used is showing an AV of the Nissan GT Academy at the beginning of movies on theatre screens, with “pit crew” members present during the movie screenings. The mall activations are being carried out by ShowBiz, while OMD and TBWA are the media and creative agencies respectively. Also, Nissan has brought on board Posterscope as an OOH partner.
Since Nissan is taking the GT Academy promotions as part of a larger branded campaign, something the company has not done in a long time, the company is exploring print and radio campaigns along with outdoor advertising. “We will be doing radio spots in each of the cities in both English and the regional language. Also, a few days prior to the event, there will be ads carried in all the English dailies as well as other high-circulation regional papers,” said Nissan. On the OOH side, billboards and bus shelters are being used for promotions.
Nissan’s aim through the promotions is also to build up a database of potential customers, which can then be approached for further promotional campaigns. The auto maker has been very aggressive about increasing its marketshare in recent months. It has revived the Datsun brand after almost 30 years with the launch of the Datsun Go last month. The Go + is also expected to be launched later this year. Nissan, recently, ended its exclusive marketing and sales partnership with Hover Automotive India and decided to bring all marketing and sales activities for both the Nissan and Datsun brand under the control of the parent company. In fact, in an earlier interview with exchange4media, KenichiroYomura, President of Nissan India Operations and MD & CEO of Nissan Motor India had admitted that there would be changes in the way Nissan was marketing its products in India so far.
To read his interview, click here.