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BRANDING NEWS: Nissan sponsors Channel 4's The Scrappy Racers

Nissan Commercial Vehicles aims to boost its market awareness through a sponsorship deal with Channel 4's The Scrappy Racers. This is a spin-off of Scrapheap Challenge, which is sponsored by Nissan's Navara 4x4 consumer vehicle.

John Parslow, marketing operations manager of Nissan, comments, “The Navara sponsorship gave us confidence to go for it because we knew that the audience profile was a perfect fit for the commercial market.

“There was a great weakness in marketing the commercial vehicle range. Although it's been selling for eight years we've had little communication about it or whatever has been done had little effect,” Parslow adds.

The primary audience are van owners such as electricians, plumbers and couriers – mainly one-man businesses, according to Parslow who watch “toolbox TV”, like it to have a competitive edge and then talk about it afterwards in the pub.

“Word-of-mouth is pivotal in this market and having a close association with The Scrappy Racers should help generate recommendations,” Parslow adds.

TBWA created a sponsorship trail – The Nissan Challenge – that features Corey Pasadena, an American motorcycle stuntman, attempting (and failing) to jump all 51 variations of the Nissan van range. This receives a minute's airtime throughout the show, during and after commercial breaks.

The sponsorship is supported by a £1.4 million through-the-line campaign, which will run for the next 18 months, reflecting sponsorship themes.

This includes a mailing to 200,000 van-owners, a microsite – which launches this month (February) featuring a game version of the stunt – and advertising and inserts in trade press. Also support is from an outdoor advertising campaign, POS in dealerships and activity at the Commercial Vehicles Show in April, where Nissan's stand will feature a replica stunt jump.

Twenty five thousand fleet operators are being targeted with DM and email activity. Parslow states that this will have the same theme but a different tone, with more emphasis on the van range.


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