During an incredibly noisy time, we bravely set out to subvert what consumers expected from an Olympics sponsor by having a little self-deprecating fun.
We wanted to make Nissan the most talked about brand during Rio 2016. In order to be heard during this incredibly noisy time it was imperative for Nissan to do different or get lost in it all.
We knew that our target audience loved to get closer to the athletes, so we needed to connect Nissan and the sponsorship to them in an unexpected and memorable way.
Our idea was to use the authentic humour of reactions to the athlete pranks to show an often unseen side to the athletes. Away from the media-trained personae we’re used to in TV interviews.
So using hidden cameras and two actors who posed as members of Nissan’s Global Sponsorship Team, we pranked Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes, telling them that ‘Nissan stakeholders’ wanted to get better value from their sponsorship during the Games. We asked them, very seriously, to put a ‘bit more Nissan’ into their event.
The campaign officially launched the day of the Opening Ceremony on Twitter ‘First View’ with hashtag #DoItForUs and bespoke emoji. Then on the eve of the Opening Ceremony, the TV ad launched with a TV roadblock across ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky.
Continuing the tone of voice, we created individual athlete films for real-time social content. These were tweeted to the athletes to remind them to get Nissan into their upcoming events. And after medal wins, to rebuke them for not doing so. Some of them loved the campaign so much they started tweeting about it, unprompted.
Luckily most of the athletes saw the funny side of it. So, we created an outtakes film with some never-before-seen, behind-the-scenes footage to thank the athletes for being such good sports.
By being a self-deprecating, self-aware brand, we connected authentically with consumers allowing us to cut through and drive real brand impact during a very noisy time.
– Positive Brand Opinion (of those aware of sponsorship) – increased 5% points post campaign (17% points above target)
– Purchase Consideration (of those aware of sponsorship) – increased 10% points post campaign (10% points above target)
– Spontaneous Partnership Awareness – increased by 7% points post campaign
– Prompted Partnership Awareness – increased by 17% points post campaign (7% points above target)
Clio Sport Awards – Best Sponsorship: Gold
Guardian MAA Awards – Best Idea: Gold
Guardian MAA Awards – People’s Choice: Gold
UK Sponsorship Awards – Best Branded Content for Sport: Gold
Content Marketing Association – Best Automotive: Bronze
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