Branded entertainment in Australia and the region is in a healthy stage of development. Regulations and restrictions are set in place by government, and industries also run a high level of self-regulation. This is most prevalent in categories such as alcohol, automotive and — in recent years — fast food and confectionary. Television is the most closely guarded medium, with online and experiential branded content less so.
After a 15 year hiatus, Nissan were set to re-launch the all-new Patrol in Australia. This new model had been refined beyond belief, from capability to luxurious appointments. The challenge we faced was that the Nissan Patrol comes with a fiercely loyal following, accompanied by a tough-as-guts reputation and heritage. As such, we needed to convince Patrol loyalist of the vehicles capabilities, while simultaneously showcasing to a new audience, just how luxuriously refined the vehicle had become. We needed to demonstrate to some and prove to others that rugged and refined could go hand in hand.
We figured: the most rugged and refined 4x4 ever, needed a track to match. So we took the soundwave from one of the most refined musical compositions in history, Beethoven’s Ninth. From that we created a 5 story high, 4x4 track, half the length of a football field, complete with rock obstacles, water crossings and almost impossible to navigate inclines and descents. The peaks and troughs of the song became the peaks and troughs of our track.
The track based on Beethoven’s ninth symphony became the ultimate product demonstration for the new Nissan Patrol. Australia’s leading 4X4 expert, described it as the hardest track he had ever driven. And the link to Beethoven acknowledged the refinement and style of the new Patrol in a humours and clever way — very much in keeping with the Nissan brand in Australia.
The event was used to create web films and online content leading to detailed information about the Nissan Patrol. We used the track as an experiential promotion, running a nationwide competition for 4X4 enthusiasts to experience the drive. This along with online display media, YouTube take-overs, social media and PR encouraged enthusiasts to spread the story, and ultimately book a test drive of the new Patrol
Within Australia, Nissan Patrol has with a fiercely loyal following, accompanied by a tough-as-guts reputation and heritage. As a result, online, it’s is one of the most searched for brands within the Nissan range. With the launch of new Patrol, we were able to use this strong, inherent online following to our advantage by creating content and detailed information about the vehicle, to be enjoyed and shared by the 4X4 community and Patrol enthusiasts.
A nationwide experiential competition, online display media, YouTube take-overs, social media and seeding through 4X4 blogs and motoring forums helped drive the audience to the content.
Within in just one week the campaign achieved: a 50% increase in Google searches for 'Nissan Patrol' — making it the most searched for model in Nissan’s range. 31.31% of viewers were converted from the entertainment video through to product-focused content, with more information on the new Patrol. Jason Pellegrino, Director of Google Australia, says of the Patrol VS Beethoven campaign “It is THE case study that we are using in Australia to showcase to our clients best practice in delivering a campaign that is built from the ground up to address this new media paradigm”. 4.5% of viewers clicked through to nissan.com.au to find a dealer and book test drives — making the highest 'click through rate' in Nissan Australia's history.