Arriving late in Brazil, Nissan was still a small player in the automotive market. They had to invigorate the brand’s relationship with Brazilian drivers as well as launch the worldwide brand proposition: Shift.
To achieve this objective they looked to newspapers, which was also identified as the most important research vehicle that people consulted when buying cars.
For the first time in history, The State of Sao Paulo, one of Brazil’s largest papers ran a blank front page to creatively facilitate the brand proposition. Nissan wanted to shift people’s relationship with the news. Rather than have people passively reading the news, it wanted them to become the news.
The campaign started with subscribers receiving their Sunday newspaper with the front page being absent of all articles and headlines; only an ad for Nissan appeared inviting readers to produce their own news.
To participate, readers went to the newspaper’s website, clicked on the Nissan banner ad and went to a related microsite where they could customise the front page with their own headlines, images and articles.
The following Sunday, each person who had participated in the promotion was front page news. Their news stories and photos were actually printed on the cover of The State of Sao Paulo with a Nissan ad running on the bottom. More than 1,000 personalised front pages were distributed to the door step of consumers. A full-page Nissan ad ran on the next page, saying â€œNow that you’ve read the news, you have a whole day to buy a new car”.
- The campaign yielded the largest response for a newspaper promotion in Brazil â€“ outstripping even those that give away cars and TVs.
- The promotion doubled brand familiarity; and it has a multiplier effect in terms of visibility – people showed it to friends and family, and due to its personal nature, the newspaper would be kept for years to come.
- The campaign generated high publicity, making two front pages in a row.
- This Be the News campaign won a Cannes Media Gold Lion for Best Use of Newspapers
The campaign ran in 2008.