Nissan to Ad Agencies: “It Takes Brass Balls to Sell Automobiles!”

Christian Meunier, Image: Nissan

Nissan’s U.S. sales boss delivered some Glengarry Glen Ross-style “motivation” to its ad agencies in order to pump up the brand’s weak messaging via a new campaign.

Christian Meunier, who took handle of Nissan’s U.S. sales and marketing and advertising in January, dressed down a roomful of agency reps a week into his new job, according to Automotive News (via Ad Age).

The automaker’s devoted ad unit, consisting of a number of Onmicon agencies, was told by Meunier that their ideas had been utter crap. Or, in his words:

“I challenged them. I locked them in a room for a week in New York, and came back right after a week and it was nonetheless shit. I came back right after two weeks and it was nevertheless shit.”

You can catch flies with honey, but it does not seem to do much for marketing materials. Nissan’s new ad campaign, which will hit consumers in May possibly, came about soon after Meunier delivered an Alec Baldwin-worthy ultimatum.

“I stated, ‘You guys far better provide something. You’d better come to Nashville subsequent week with a plan that performs.’ And they came back with a extremely excellent plan.”

The Nissan Motor Firm hasn’t fallen on tough occasions. Its sales have risen every year since the depths of the recession, hitting nearly 1.five million in the U.S. last year.

That is is not the issue, even so.

The dilemma, Meunier told the reps, was that folks don’t really know what Nissan is all about. It isn’t the entertaining-loving, perpetually adolescent Honda, or the respectable, slightly stodgy Toyota. In advertising terms, Nissan suffers from weak brand identity.

The ad campaign crafted by the unit’s members — no doubt with shirt sleeves rolled up and brows beaded with perspiration — is at the moment in the consumer test phase. Dealers also get a say just before it goes live.

What will the advertisements contain? Well, besides the brand’s lineup of sedans and SUVs … no one knows. But if it pleased a guy like Meunier, it has to be above par.

It had much better be.


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