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Nissan Launches "7 Days in a Sentra" Ad Campaign

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Nissan Launches "7 Days in a Sentra" Ad Campaign

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NASHVILLE, TENN. (October 6, 2006) -- Inspired by the research photos taken inside the cars of hundreds of 20-30 year olds, the all-new 2007 Nissan Sentra will debut this month in an unprecedented marketing campaign. The research demonstrated that young people use their car as if it were another room in their home – filled with gym clothes, sports equipment, music (in all delivery forms), food and ways to communicate with the outside world.

“7 Days in a Sentra” is the simple but ingenious notion that will be translated into television commercials, webisodes, online executions and a special 2-minute piece – take one man, the 2007 Nissan Sentra and a challenge to actually live in the car for seven full days and be filmed doing it. Tapping into a number of pop culture trends (episodic story-telling, real life adventures, blogging and vlogging), Nissan casts the campaign in a whole new light.

“With this approach, we’re moving away from ‘interrupting’ our consumers and toward creating opportunities to interact with them. I think we also transition from story telling to conversation,” said Jan Thompson, Nissan’s vice president of marketing. “The integrated marketing campaign will showcase the all-new Sentra in an innovative way across many communication channels.”

Thompson noted that all 168 hours of film shot over the real seven day experiment (shot in and around Los Angeles) were designed to showcase the Nissan Sentra’s new features including:

· Roomy, high quality interior with long list of available amenities, including a 60/40 split double-fold rear seat, available hidden trunk storage compartment and available integrated overhead compact disc holder.

· Multiple AM/FM/CD audio systems available, including RDS, mp3 playback, satellite radio and auxiliary input capability (variations by model)

· Available Intelligent Key keyless entry system and available Bluetooth™ Hands-Free Phone System

“We also showcase Sentra’s smooth ride and fuel efficiency in vignettes that are both funny and surprising,” Thompson added. “And no stunt drivers were employed!”

Nissan selected Marc Horowitz, a photographer’s assistant and San Francisco native, to be the central character of the campaign. While the storyline depicts a young man living out of his new Sentra for seven consecutive days as an experiment to see if the Sentra lives up to its promises, Marc’s experience was anything but fictional.

In addition to living out of the Sentra, Marc had to adhere to a challenging list of ‘rules’ that created the framework for the experiment, including:

· Must live 7 straight days out of the Sentra. I am free to come and go from the Sentra.

· Must not return to his apartment at any point during the 7 days.

· Must assume his normal day-to-day responsibilities, including work and scheduled meetings.

· Must personally prepare at least 4 meals within the immediate vicinity of the Sentra.

· Must go on at least one date. Hopefully more.

· Must not let anyone else drive his car during the 7 days.

· Must sleep in a different location each night. Once the location is chosen he must not move.

· Must not set foot outside of the car for any reason from 12am – 5am.

· Must host at least one “social function” in the Sentra.

· Must maintain the highest standards of personal hygiene.

“This was an amazing experience for me,” said Horowitz. “I got to meet really amazing people, and I got to drive the Sentra, which really is a great car. And who knew there were so many places in LA where you can get a good shower for free?”

The “7 Days in a Sentra” campaign includes the following components:

· Seven (7) traditional :30 national TV spots - one for each day Marc lives in the car

· A “NissanUSA.com/7days” website will allow visitors to see the campaign, including long-form pieces

· A blog written by Marc which will document his experience during his 7 days in the Sentra. The blog will include Marc’s journal entries from the week, photos, a long form piece and many viral, short-form films

· A personalized MySpace page by Marc

· Street teams with interactive AdVans in 7 key markets centered around the 7 days concept

· A short documentary film which will be cut to be shown both on the web as well as part of TiVo’s Showcase lineup

Along with the 2007 Nissan Altima and Versa, the Sentra is being launched under the Next Generation Shift_2.0 campaign.

Creative is handled by Nissan’s agency, TBWA/Chiat/Day, based in Playa del Rey, California. Other agencies involved in the campaign include OMD, TEQUILA, The Vidal Partnership, Edelman and The Designory.

[source: Nissan North America]

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I took a look at the website earlier and the premise looks interesting. I think this will be a pretty successful campaign.

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I've (unfortunately) spent months driving 2 different (older) sentras; even then a mere commute was borderline torturous. When a 6-yr old kid can pick up on a car's glaring shortcomings, you know you're in for it.

I cannot imagine volunteering to live in a sentra unless I was seriously into pain or in the cast of Jackass III.

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