Nissan introduced Rogue, its first real crossover utility vehicle (CUV), to Canada in the autumn of 2007. It sold well – indeed on the back of dramatic segment growth it quickly became the company’s best-selling model.
In truth, however, it was not really equipped to compete with the established ‘Big Three’ CUV players: the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, who between them consistenly held about a third of the market. By 2013, Rogue was in eighth place with its share stuck at 5.2%.
The good news was that there was a major revamp of the Rogue on the way, to be launched in January 2014. The challenge was that Nissan were relying on the new car to spearhead the growth of their whole Canadian business, so our relaunch campaign faced some daunting share and sales targets.
And while the new car was a lot better than the old one, it still only brought the Rogue up to product parity with the Big Three. We needed a campaign that would resonate emotionally with Canadian drivers and give the new car a truly distinctive presence in the market. (The original Rogue had been supported by international work).
Research revealed that, while off-road capability was an important purchase criterion in the CUV market, drivers rarely used it. It seemed much more symbolic of the car’s general capability than a truly useful feature. But as we thought more deeply about it, we realized that in the Canadian winter, on-road could turn into off-road in a heartbeat.
This was the key that unlocked the puzzle. We would make Rogue the star of a new kind of car campaign, one where winter itself was the enemy and Rogue (and its drivers) the heroes. And so ‘Conquer All Conditions’ was born.
The results were truly remarkable. In the short term, the new advertising clearly captured the imagination of the public and sales rose to new heights – volume was up 70% in the first twelve months and share rose to a record 7.6%. Even more impressive was that, as the campaign gained traction, so did the new Rogue. Annual sales have gone up more than 150%; share has continued to rise and now stands at 9.7%
And the Big Three is now the Big Four.