From also-ran to front-runner: How Nissan made Rogue a sales hero by making winter heroes of Canadian drivers

IPA Effectiveness Awards Case Study 2018

Nissan Canada wanted its re-launched Rogue to improve on its predecessors with a dramatic and sustained rise in share of its category. It was especially important to persuade Canadians that the car performed well off-road in the country’s challenging winters. The ‘Winter Heroes’ strategy broke with automotive convention by using TV ads in the style of Hollywood superhero movies, with supporting digital and social, to distinguish the car from rival models. Between 2014 and 2017, Rogue’s brand differentiation metrics strengthened. The car’s category share almost doubled, with gains held over time. An estimated 64,927 extra Rogues were sold, worth nearly $1.9bn in incremental revenue. The net profit generated was calculated at $60.7m.

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At Nissan Canada, we have always seen creating distinctive and compelling communications as a crucial part of our marketing project - and the campaign for the new Rogue in 2014 was no different. Even so, we were very conscious that we had to make a real statement with the relaunch or risk the fast-growing crossover utility vehicle (CUV) market getting away from us. To that end we created something not seen before - based on a uniquely Canadian take on winter as a driving environment, one that quickly resonated with people across the country and became famous well beyond its main audience of potential CUV buyers. And in the following years we built on that initial success, with direct and indirect business effects that made the period from 2014 through 2017 one of the most successful in the marque’s history in Canada. What we took from this was that advertising – brave, mould-breaking, famous advertising – can make a real difference to sales performance in the car market but that you need to truly commit to it, especially if you have well-entrenched (and well-funded) competitors, as we did. But if you do that, then you can create an almost unstoppable business momentum.

Steve Rhind, Director, Marketing
Nissan Canada

Winners 2018

Bronze Winner


From also-ran to front-runner: How Nissan made Rogue a sales hero by making winter heroes of Canadian drivers




Nissan Canada


Juniper Park\TBWA

Principal Authors

  • Mark Tomblin - Juniper Park\TBWA

Contributing Authors

    Credited Companies

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