Nissan North America, Inc.: Nissan Quest Minivan Launch campaign

Guy Cunningham


In 2004 Nissan North America, the North American subsidiary of Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., introduced a redesign of its Quest minivan. Originally a joint project with the Ford Motor Company, the Quest was selling only about 30,000 units per year by that time, and it was felt that the vehicle needed to be radically reconceived in order to compete with other minivans. Imports had risen to 34 percent of all minivan sales, meaning there was a solid market for the Quest to tap into. In an effort to make gains in this market, Nissan introduced the redesigned Quest in 2003 and 2004.

Since the new Quest was a bold, sleek-looking minivan, it was decided to market the vehicle as the minivan of choice for what Nissan termed "Sexy Moms"—younger, hipper, financially successful suburban mothers and families that wanted the interior space of a minivan but were uncomfortable with the segment's dowdy image. The ad agency TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles was brought in to handle the $20 million campaign, which featured a major television spot, print ads, and billboards. The TV spot featured young, hip women going out at night in the city or loading musical instruments and surfboards into their Quests. It closed with the tagline "Moms have changed, shouldn't the minivan?" The message was that the Quest was a car for independent, image-conscious drivers. Nissan also sponsored events, such as a fashion show during New York's fashion week, in an effort to reach an audience that might not have been familiar with the earlier version of the Quest.