Cannes Lions


TBWA\CHIAT\DAY , Los Angeles / NISSAN / 2013

Case Film
Case Film
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With Tivo & DVR, more people are scanning right past commercials. If a company brings authentic

value to the marketplace, then people will want to associate with that brand. And one of the quickest

routes to the hearts of customers is an engaging story. Ideally it’s not a fairy tale, but a true story –

one that demonstrates why the brand is unique and compelling.

Brands are now part of everyday life and companies have more occasions to connect with

consumers. There have never been so many media opportunities to tell a story. However, consumers

have less interest in being sold to, making the need for authentic messaging and organic execution

essential. “Brought to you by” isn’t enough. And overt “bite and smile” content that loudly calls out

the brand does more harm than good.

Effective Branded Entertainment is entertaining while baking

the Brand into the story. Success starts with development of an idea versus “band-aiding” the brand

identity to fit a media buy or third-party story. A company must know what makes a good story and

find their place within that structure. Nissan & Gran Turismo 5 are seamlessly integrated as main

characters in the GT Academy story.


An online media blitz and PR/social effort kicked off the program. Then a calculated push of

contestant-specific content surfaced on-line (web sites, blogs, PSN) with a profile video for each of

the top 16 gamers.

The Facebook page delivered real-time behind the scene content during the TV show through a

unique/engaging second screen experience. There was even a live chat of questions/answers with

contestants during the show that fans could watch live. There were behind the scenes videos of the massive

production efforts to spread buzz for the upcoming TV series.

Promotional efforts for the show on SPIKE delivered over 80MM impressions across TV, online and

PR. SPIKE proved to be a natural fit for the show, with over 86% of the viewers rating the show

positively and 73% indicating Nissan purchase intent.


- 400,000 people entered the competition, 8x more than last year, spending thousands of hours

driving the 370Zs in the game.

- The show aired on our new network, where 7 million viewers tuned in, eclipsing last year’s

ratings and creating demand for re-airs on MTV2.

- Reaffirmed GT Academy as a successful branded enterprise for Nissan and put in motion

plans for a global program.

- A virtual racer, Steve Doherty, actually became a real racecar driver proving success with his

finish at the 24-hour Dubai race in January.

- Promotional efforts for the show on SPIKE delivered over 80MM impressions across TV, online

and PR.

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