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The Nissan NEXT Experience: Brand Evolution in a Time of Disruption

  • 20% increase in the “excellent brand opinion” poll from pre-event to post-event surveys
  • 122k visitors to Nissan US site in 48 hours during and post event
  • 13k viewers for Live Q&A
  • Event page had 91k visitors, 165k vehicle page views, 83k vehicle interactions

The Nissan brand has been undergoing a transformation that began in 2020, and with the help of longtime partner GPJ, it has harnessed the digital and hybrid opportunities to do so successfully and creatively amidst a backdrop of limitations. 

GPJ partnered with Nissan in 2020 on the global launch of the Ariya, which took place in Japan and was broadcast live globally. Next, the Z Proto was launched in a hybrid format, via broadcast from Japan with a corresponding event in the US. 

As a culmination of the brand transformation, the Nissan NEXT Experience introduced the evolution of the brand to dealers, media, employees and consumers, while also launching several key vehicles, including the redesigned Frontier and Pathfinder. 

Originally planned as a hybrid event in Los Angeles for media, dealers, and consumers, the team worked tirelessly throughout the fall to scout, plan, and coordinate an event in the ever-changing COVID landscape. After multiple location and venue changes in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas, the team decided to shift the entire event to virtual and bring it to Nashville, home of Nissan’s North American headquarters. 

The Music City Convention Center provided a blank canvas of square footage, which we transformed into 3 massive studio spaces, where one-on-one interviews took place, executives were filmed, and a huge light field with a 70 foot LED wall was built for the vehicle reveal moments. 

Event hosts and Nissan ad campaign “Heisman House” residents Tim Tebow and Eddie George moderated the show, and even tag-teamed with Alfonso Albaisa, Head of Global Design and Ken Lee, Senior Designer, who were both in Japan. VP and CMO of Nissan US Allyson Witherspoon joined the Nashville team to talk about updates to Nissan’s business approach, corporate culture and wider product lineup. After the broadcast, live walkarounds with the Pathfinder and Frontier allowed for real time Q&A from the online audience. 

Partnering with sister agency Spinifex Group for content creation, we shot what was needed for the digital broadcast and event website, which featured 8 product pages and additional content, then used the studio space as a content factory, capturing footage to be used by Nissan for a variety of purposes including social media and employee messaging. 

More than 11,000 people pre-registered for the event, and 62% of consumers reported having a better opinion of the Nissan brand after visiting the Nissan NEXT Experience virtual event. 67% of attendees were extremely likely to consider purchasing a Nissan, and 92% said they were interested in more Nissan digital/virtual events.

The event site remains active, and viewers can also watch a video recap on YouTube