Anticipation Drives Nissan Altima Ad Campaign `Have You Seen It?'

13 August 1997

Anticipation Drives Nissan Altima Ad Campaign `Have You Seen It?'

    LOS ANGELES, Aug. 13 -- Five years ago, the launch of
Nissan's affordable luxury sedan, the Altima(R), was reported by The Wall
Street Journal to be the most successful in automotive history.  Since that
time, the Altima is associated with superior quality and performance.  Now,
with the unveiling of the new 1998 Altima, the only question to ask is, "Have
you seen it?"
    Continuing with the benchmark approach found in Nissan's Popular
advertising campaign, the Altima commercials integrate a blend of brand,
product and retail spots.  The launch of the new Altima is the company's first
new product to be introduced under the award-winning "Enjoy the ride.(TM)"
brand campaign umbrella.
    "With the excitement that's already been generated, and with the support
of this comprehensive marketing campaign, the Altima is going to do
extraordinary things for the brand," said Tom Orbe, vice president of
marketing, Nissan Motor Corporation U.S.A.  "We are confident the Altima is
one in a series of products that will lead us to our goal of a 20 percent
increase in sales by the year 2000."
    The new Altima campaign continues the "Enjoy the ride." theme, with its
now-famous mystical Japanese character (loosely based on Yutaka Katayama who
started Nissan's sales and marketing operations in the United States when
vehicles were sold under the Datsun name).  The character's ever-present
query, "Have You Seen It?," is seen throughout the teaser phase of the
campaign, that launched June 30, and includes bus wraps, bus shelters, posters
and the magical man peeking over billboards.
    "People have told us how much they love our campaign and its character,"
said Orbe.  "And as everyone has come to know, wherever the magical man is,
wonderful things happen.  Now, with the launch of a new Altima, we're telling
everyone we have something special worth checking out."
    For the past year, Nissan has been recognized as a pioneer in creating
advertising that consumers really want to watch -- zap-proof ads that tell a
story.  The "Enjoy the ride." campaign has been building to the Altima launch,
setting the stage for blending product and brand into one campaign.  The three
Altima brand spots continue the storytelling technique by placing the vehicle
in several unique scenarios.
    The first commercial takes viewers into a fairy tale like world where
dreamlike music, scored by Danny Elfman, fills the air.  The scene is set as a
group of eager tourists venture off in a brightly colored bus to see the
world's latest attraction.  Magically, in the middle of rolling green pastures
a new Nissan Altima is revealed, surrounded in grandiose fashion by red velvet
ropes.  In this unique new car introduction, viewers get an opportunity to see
the Altima's luxurious, roomy interior and showcase the product at many
different angles while being treated to a tongue-in-cheek commentary on human
    "Farmer" is a visual illustration of the Altima's performance aspects,
depicting how the vehicle can transform even the most stoic individual.  The
spot opens on a farming couple surveying their old pickup truck.  Concluding
that the clunker needs replacing, the farmer heads into town to purchase, a
new vehicle.  Sometime later, with the Monkee's classic music track, "I'm a
Believer," playing in the background, the farmer -- clearly a transformed man
-- gleefully heads back home in his new Altima.  When his wife asks what's
come over him, the farmer replies, "I don't know, but I like it."  The magical
character comes into view and poses the question, "Have you seen it?"
    As showcased in "Witness Protection," the commercial illustrates that
you'll get noticed driving the new Altima.  With the tune of "Happy Trails"
playing in the background, the scene is set as Mr. Symons is being prepared by
two federal agents to enter the witness protection program.  Equipped with all
necessities for his new life -- new passport, driver's license, keys to his
new house and car -- Mr. Symons heads to the federal bureau garage to his
assigned car, a shiny new Altima.  Emerging from the garage, Mr. Symons
encounters a bit of a problem: his anonymity is being betrayed by all the
attention the new Altima is attracting from people on the street.  Mr. Symons
ducks in the car to avoid being noticed.  In the midst of the crowd, the
magical man appears holding a "Have you seen it?" sign.
    The commercials, which started airing in mid-July, combine network and
national cable buys, and cover all markets in which there are Nissan
retailers.  The launch campaign airs along with fun and engaging retail spots
that keep with the entertaining values of the "Enjoy the ride." campaign.  The
retail spots feature beautiful shots of the new Altima and its compelling
price point message.
    In North America, Nissan's operations include styling, engineering,
manufacturing, sales, consumer and corporate finance, and industrial and
textile equipment.  Nissan in North America employs more than 20,000 people in
the United States, Canada and Mexico and generates more than 70,000 jobs
through its 1,500 Nissan and Infiniti dealerships across the continent.  More
information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and
 Infiniti vehicles can be found online at

SOURCE  Nissan Motor Corporation U.S.A.

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