Approach to Brief
Gran Turismo, the iconic racing video game, challenged auto manufacturers to develop their vision of a GT car from the year 2020, to be integrated into the current game, Gran Turismo 6, throughout 2014. Some manufacturers, including Nissan, also created physical concepts, translating their ideas from the virtual to the real and debuting them at various global events. inVNT generated a social media campaign for Nissan that inspired awareness of its concept, the Nissan Concept 2020 Vision GT, leading up to the ultimate physical reveal at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on June 28, 2014. inVNT’s goal was to position Nissan as an innovator, straddling both the automotive and the tech spheres. Nissan challenged inVNT to get attention for the car’s rollout on a par with its competitors, many of whom were revealing their GT concept vehicles at far larger automotive shows in major metropolitan centers around the world. inVNT used Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram to orchestrate a month-long series of teases leading up to the car’s physical reveal at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. By utilizing social media as a medium to present the campaign, inVNT was able to engage the younger target audience effectively. Nissan was one of about two dozen automobile companies creating a virtual concept car to commemorate the 15th anniversary of Sony PlayStation’s Gran Turismo video game series. While manufacturers participating in the program were not required to create a physical replica, Nissan did, unveiling the Nissan Concept 2020 Vision GT, a physical iteration of its sleek, futuristic virtual vehicle, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Nissan tasked inVNT with creating a social media campaign to generate excitement surrounding the reveal. Working closely with Gran Turismo, inVNT extended the reach of Nissan’s social channels into the gaming arena – a significantly broader socially minded audience than that of the non-gaming automotive aficionado.
Building momentum by playing on the intersection of the virtual and the actual, inVNT initiated the campaign on June 6th by announcing the June 10th release of a high-res downloadable poster. The release was planned to coincide with E3, the high-tech gaming show.
The image, posted on Nissan and Gran Turismo’s Facebook pages, depicted a mysterious, shrouded Nissan amidst a lineup of 148 automobiles. Also deployed via the personal Facebook pages of Nissan’s design director Nakamura and Gran Turismo’s revered Yamauchi, the poster spread like wildfire, serving as a tangible keepsake that ignited a virtual conversation about the car.
A series of synchronized global postings followed, with each element revealing a new detail about Nissan’s virtual concept car and providing the release date of the next content piece. The series of once-a-week clues included a teaser photo of the car; a 20-second Instagram video of Nissan’s Concept 2020 GT racing up the Goodwood Hill and a Yahoo photo exclusive (featured on Yahoo’s splash page for 12 hours). The final element was a live Reddit “Ask Me Anything” interview with Nissan’s chief designer, Shiro Nakamura, and the founder of Gran Turismo, Kazunori Yamauchi.
Shortly after the reveal at Goodwood Festival of Speed, inVNT’s launch strategy had created buzz around the concept car and amplified the Nissan brand, building anticipation among their target audience for the release of their Vision 2020 GT.
Impact and Effectiveness
From a Yahoo photo exclusive to an Instagram teaser of the vehicle racing up Goodwood’s famous hill, to a live Reddit “Ask Me Anything” interview with Nissan’s Nakamura and Kazunori Yamauchi (Gran Turismo’s revered founder and designer) – eliciting 1,000 questions within the first hour – inVNT’s launch strategy exposed the Nissan brand and its NC2020 Vision GT concept, to a greatly expanded audience of car-passionate young people. Within two weeks of the Goodwood event, inVNT’s launch strategy had attained YouTube stats of 66,398 views rivaling those received by Mercedes for the LA Auto Show release of the first GT6 concept car. Additional campaign statistics include 75,000 Facebook likes and 27,000 Instagram likes for all of the assets that Nissan shared as well as 1,300 shares on Car Revs Daily.