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Nissan Titan pickup marketing campaign —

NASHVILLE — Breaking with the industry focus on brawny, hard-working trucks, Nissan this month will launch a Titan pickup ad campaign that instead appeals to social consciousness and community involvement.

The automaker will roll out a combination of TV spots and social media efforts that align the Titan with three national nonprofit organizations: the American Red Cross, the National Park Foundation and Habitat for Humanity.

The “Calling All Titans” campaign intends to appeal to what Nissan believes is an emerging psychographic among truck buyers — a desire to volunteer and give back to their local community.

The campaign will show Titan-driving volunteers at each of the three organizations. An affiliated website, CallingAllTITANs.com, will provide information about how to donate and volunteer locally.

“There is a natural desire among pickup truck owners to take action when help is needed,” Jeremy Tucker, Nissan marketing communications and media vice president, said in a statement released Wednesday. “We have seen that Titan customers are the kind of people who want to get the job done and leave their world better than they found it.”

The campaign also appeals to a consumer belief that corporations must give back to society. Nissan cited a recent survey by Porter Novelli that found 78 percent of Americans believe companies must have a positive impact on society, beyond making money.

Mixing brand marketing and charitable work is nothing new. Subaru’s “Share the Love” campaign has helped raise its brand awareness over the past few years by promoting charitable causes. Toyota also has devoted ad dollars in the past to showing its charitable work.

But Nissan’s new campaign is a departure for the highly competitive American pickup business, where Nissan is struggling to gain a toehold. For the first eight months of this year, Nissan’s Titan mustered only a 1.7 percent share of the pickup segment, with sales of 31,932. That was a decline of a tenth of a point from the first eight months of 2017.

The company has been looking for creative ways to establish name recognition in the full-size pickup segment, which is dominated by the Detroit 3.

Later this month, Nissan will use the Calling All Titans campaign to help the Red Cross attract volunteers nationally for blood drives, smoke alarm replacement campaigns and disaster relief efforts.

The campaign has also pledged donations of $1 million each to the three primary nonprofit organizations.

“Calling All Titans gives us a meaningful way to connect the capabilities of our Titan truck with our current and future customers,” Tucker said in the statement, “answering the call when they see a need.”

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