Laughter is the best medicine, but can it sell pickup trucks?
Nissan is looking to gain some ground in the world of pickup trucks with a new ad campaign for its full-size Titan called no lazy horses. You may have caught the preview of it the other day if you happen to follow Nissan on Facebook, because the automaker did a freaking four-hour livestream of, well, lazy horses. Yeah, that seems a bit awkward.
Now, Nissan has a commercial that's a bit more befitting of the slogan, which you can watch at the top of the page. Obviously the approach here is humor, and to that end Nissan sent out a rather lengthy press release explaining this campaign, which you can read below. In short, the manufacturer is seeking to grab the attention of younger buyers through ads that are funny as opposed to being full of macho truck stuff, like you know, driving through mud or climbing hills. Oh dear, things just got a bit awkward again, didn’t they?
According to Nissan, Titan owners are “three to four years younger than the industry average.” The company also has retail sales data that says Generation X buyers account for 34 percent of Titan sales, and that Titan gets more Millennial buyers than the “two best-selling nameplates.” Right now that would be Ford and Ram.
The automaker says it’s relatively new to the truck market, though the full-size Titan has been around since 2004. It underwent a major update in 2015 and currently claims to offer the most standard power in a full-size pickup, with 390 horsepower from its 5.6-liter V8. The company also bills the Titan as having the best factory warranty for trucks, with five years or 100,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage. Titan sales have risen in 2017, but the numbers are still far below the likes of Ford, Ram, and Chevrolet.
Will this quirky marketing campaign bring more truck buyers to Nissan? The automaker did say the silly ads were targeted to younger buyers, but the same press release also says Nissan already gets a larger share of younger buyers. That kind of marketing strategy seems a bit off to us, but hey, we’re all about trying new things so we’ll just sit back and see what else Nissan comes up with to make us laugh.
Gallery: Nissan Titan No Lazy Horses Ad Campaign
Nissan TITAN targets younger buyers and injects levity into serious realm of truck advertising with ‘No Lazy Horses’ campaign
- TITAN attracts a higher percentage of Millennial and Generation X buyers1, continues to target a different, younger buyer with a humorous, attention-grabbing approach
- New irreverent campaign introduces "lazy horses" to increase awareness of the new Nissan TITAN line of pickup trucks with younger truck customers, bucks traditional truck advertising tone
- Nissan TITAN features standard 390-horsepower 5.6-liter Endurance® V8 gasoline engine and America's Best Truck 5-year/100,000-mile Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty2
- Commercial airs today and can be seen on the NissanUSA YouTube channel and at NissanUSA.com/NoLazyHorses
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nissan's new TITAN campaign is a stark departure from the competitive and serious tone often used in truck advertising, as the brand uses humor to attract more Millennial and Generation X buyers – two key demographics TITAN currently has a higher share of than segment sales leaders1.
According to retail sales data from Strategic Vision, both TITAN half-ton and TITAN XD owners have median ages three to four years younger than the industry average1. The same data reveals TITAN has a higher share of Millennial buyers than the segment's two best-selling nameplates. However, it is with Generation X buyers where TITAN really over indexes, with 34 percent of TITAN sales in this demographic – 10 percentage points above the segment average.
"Over the years truck advertising has become very formulaic with stamped metal, rock crushing and chest-beating," said Jeremy Tucker, vice president, marketing communications and media, Nissan North America. "We are looking to use humor to appeal to a younger demographic for the Nissan brand. "No Lazy Horses" allows us the chance to break the mold and reinforce what TITAN has to offer – best-in-class standard horsepower3, a class-leading warranty2 and great value."
As a relatively new player in the truck market, TITAN needs to stand out and pursue new customers in a diverse and growing segment. From the launch of the redesigned TITAN in 2015, Nissan has opted to approach the truck market differently.
It began with the TITAN XD – a "new class" of full-size pickup featuring a unique Cummins® 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel engine that sits in the "white space" of the industry between the traditional half-ton and heavy-duty segments.
Last year, the company broke the mold on warranty coverage, offering America's Best Truck 5-year/100,000-mile Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty2 – two years and 64,000 miles beyond the nearest competitor.
"TITAN is a serious truck that has very serious reasons it should be considered by people shopping for pickups," said Billy Hayes, division vice president, Trucks, LCV and South/Mountain Regions. "But that doesn't mean we can't have fun getting the message across."
The Nissan TITAN is available in dealer showrooms in three cab configurations: Crew Cab, King Cab and Single Cab, and five grade levels: S, SV, PRO-4X, SL and Platinum Reserve. TITAN also comes with many popular features such as the Utili-track® Bed Channel System, allowing for endless tie-down possibilities, and a factory-applied spray-on bed liner. With the highest standard horsepower in the class3 and an industry-best truck warranty2, TITAN is no lazy horse.