Nissan is using intrigue to try to boost its sales and change its image in the UK.
Nissan Europe is airing a series of 24 one-minute spots on a British cable and satellite network on Sunday evenings. The commercials began airing in January and will appear until June.
The ads begin with the main character reading a letter. He gets emotional then departs in a Nissan Murano. A series of adventures follow involving other new or new-generation Nissans: the Pathfinder, Navara pickup and 350Z Roadster.
The campaign borrows from the road-movie genre that made movies such as Thelma and Louise a hit.
Nissans aim is to convince younger viewers that its vehicle are cool. Europeans perceive the brand as a maker of good but dull vehicles.
We seek to challenge convention, said Andy Connell, Nissan Europes manager of marketing communications. It will take a couple of weeks for people to grasp whats going on, but it is intriguing and will stick in the mind. It will give us more standout than conventional advertising.
Normally TV commercials last 30 seconds, but Nissans 24 one-minute episodes are running as a serial adventure. Each episode runs three times every Sunday evening on News Corp.s Sky One network.
The TV deal marks Nissans first major attempt at brand-building in the UK. The automaker holds a 3.5 percent share of the market.
In the UK, Nissan is known for small cars but lacks a strong image.
Nissans ad agency, Omnicom Groups TBWA/London, produced the campaign. TBWA shot the commercials in the US states of Nevada and Arizona.