Nissan: The New Car

Category: Automotive—Vehicles
Brand/Client: Nissan
Primary Agency: TBWA\CHIAT\DAY
Contributing Agencies: Critical Mass, OMD, The Designory Inc., George P. Johnson

STRATEGIC CHALLENGE

THE BIG LEAP

In 2009, Nissan announced that they would be the first car company to mass-produce a practical, affordable, 100% electric car.1 The LEAF is a revolutionary compact 5-door hatchback with no gas and no tailpipe. Industry analysts agreed that Nissan was taking a huge gamble—pouring more than $500 million into a car for which the mass market might not be ready.2 While the LEAF looks familiar, it is different from any other car: new fuel, new parts, new performance and new driver behavior. Getting people to understand and embrace this new way of driving was going to be critically important. Many were skeptical. They said it would be too inconvenient, too expensive or too much of a sacrifice. But Nissan had taken a leap. And now the fate of their brand and bottom line hung in the balance.