Cannes Lions

INFINITI in Petra and Beyond - How out-of-this world thinking and experiences el

INFINITI MOTOR COMPANY, Hong Kong / INFINITI MOTOR COMPANY / 2020

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

In 2019, INFINITI celebrated its 30th anniversary. Recognizing that it’s not quite the milestone that its German competitors recently honored, the INFINITI communications team was hungry for fresh campaign ideas that would honor its recent past, highlight its present products and look toward its bright future simultaneously. This entry details the following campaign idea: an intimate international media program through the storied deserts of Jordan. Through this activation, INFINITI showcased its incredible suite of SUVs – the QX50, QX60 and QX80 – against a historical backdrop that is also a platform for future technologies.

Objectives

? Generate positive coverage of INFINITI’s 30th anniversary and the brand ethos of “Challenging Convention”

? Renew media interest in and help drive sales of the brand’s SUV portfolio

? Reach new consumer targets via media verticals they prefer (lifestyle, travel, history, technology and adventure) using a unique narrative

Idea

INFINITI leaned into its “Challenging Convention” brand ethos when ideating its program, reimagining the traditional media drive, and creating a very unique, bespoke experience. Media visited a newly discovered site in Petra with the space archaeologist that discovered it via satellite remote sensing. In addition to the stunning locale, the team identified an influential partner that would elevate the media experience in surprising ways. Dr. Sarah Parcak, a well-known satellite archaeologist, uses seemingly unconventional methods in her studies. In lieu of a traditional archaeological dig, Dr. Parcak analyzes imagery collected from state-of-the-art satellites in space to identify subtle changes that signal a manmade presence hidden from the naked eye. This rapid and cost-effective approach has led to substantial increases in site discoveries. And Parcak agreed to lead INFINITI’s media guests on an exclusive tour of her incredible findings in Jordan.

Strategy

INFINITI has identified a target group called “progressive challengers” as individuals who embrace a challenger mentality. They are self-driven and entrepreneurial; they pursue their own path, know what they want and are motivated to achieve their goals. Lastly, the progressive challengers are forward-looking.

Drawing on the theme of Challenging Convention, the strategy behind the QXploration experience was to position INFINITI’s SUV lineup, within a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, rather than the focus of a traditional “ride & drive” program.

The goal was to reach a more erudite customer base through lifestyle and travel titles, rather than traditional automotive outlets.

"INFINITI challenges the status quo, authentically lives its exploration ethos and uses new technology to empower its customers."

Execution

Each of INFINITI’s regions (Americas, China, Middle East and Russia) invited five top-tier journalists and influencers on the program. The QXploration experience was executed over four waves, with each wave following the same schedule: a thorough briefing upon arrival about Dr. Parcak, INFINITI’s 30th Anniversary and the SUVs the group would test drive; an intimate dinner with INFINITI executives; a day of driving through the desert; a one-night stay at a glamping resort under the stars; and concluding with half a day exploring the ancient sites at Petra. Employing NASA imaging technology and a fleet of QX80s and QX50s, INFINITI followed the ancient King's Road from the Dead Sea to the historic trading center of Petra to visit this discovery, symbolic of the evolution of modern archaeology.

Media consisted of "super influencer" freelancers who pitched this story to multiple outlets. The coverage was global and across social platforms.

Outcome

Global Results

? In December, three months after the program and after many stories were published, INFINITI had its best global sales month ever for the QX80 SUV, the featured vehicle form the program. Sales increased almost 65.8% in the Middle East Q3 vs Q2 and almost 10% in the US.

? Stories and content appeared in new titles for INFINITI including Esquire Middle East, Maxim (US), print), Cool Hunting, Popular Mechanics, GQ Middle East, and Durrah Magazine (print)

? 31 unique articles from the Middle East resulting in +9.5 million media impressions in the Middle East target locations (China, Middle East, North America, Mexico, Canada, Russia)

? 99% positive or neutral tonality across the reported coverage

? 100% positive or neutral tonality across the Middle East coverage

Qualitative and anecdotal verbatims from media demonstrated extraordinary.

Nick Stecher – Maxim - "This was an epic adventure of the largest scale. Just from experiential standpoint, it’s one of the greatest experiences you could have as a writer, as a human being."

Jaclyn Trop – Freelance. Overland Journal. Robb Report. Vogue. Boston Globe."Thank you for *the* most incredible trip. We’ve all done hundreds of programs over the years, and this one has been the best by far."

Jerry Garrett – The New York Times - "The trip was such a worthwhile and brand educational experience. Truly, time well spent."

Matthew Askari – Freelance. Cool Hunting. "Incredible. Freaking Epic. From a story point of view we were able to capture everything we needed."

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