We love PR people. Sometimes, they give us great scoops about upcoming rides, or offer us test drives before models launch. And sometimes, they make us laugh, as one PR team did yesterday while trying to pique our interest in the marketing campaign for the 2011 Nissan Juke.
The premise of the campaign is pretty straightforward: in addition to making traditional media buys on TV, radio, and so on, Nissan has also hired Jason Sadler and Evan White from IWearYourShirt.com to shill the Juke. The people at Asylum PR did their best to make the campaign sound innovative:
Instead of having Ashton Kutcher, Kim Kardashian, Lindsey Lohan or another social media icon take the word about the new car to the social media realm, Nissan is having two relatively unknown men with zero celebrity status drive the Juke around for a week, Tweeting, Facebooking, You Tubing and making a general social media ruckus about it.
Would you be interested in learning the secret to why they are entrusting their brand and official US launch of the new car this week to virtual nobodies?
"Yes," we wondered to ourselves, "why are they doing that? Surely, it's not because every other automaker in the U.S. has done the same thing?" (We kid, we kid.)
But beneath the hyperbole coming from Nissan and Asylum, this is an interesting move for Nissan -- and it could be a great way to sell the Juke, which seems targeted to the same youngish, adventurous folks who might also consider a Honda Element, a Scion xB, a Kia Soul, or even the Nissan Cube.
What's so great about it?
If you don't know IWearYourShirt.com, you should. The company employs a simple but innovative marketing concept: advertisers hire Sadler and White to wear t-shirts bearing their company logo or other message. The two then take photos and videos of themselves wearing said shirts, and post them throughout their social networks. The company has gotten great press, not to mention some high-profile clients like Doritos, Zappos, and now, Nissan.
Whether the duo count as "virtual nobodies" is another matter: IWearYourShirt's Twitter account boasts 50,000 followers, and even White's personal account has nearly 6,000. Either way, the two have been tweeting, uploading videos, making Facebook posts, and giving away Juke swag all week, while driving two of the first few Jukes in the U.S. The cost to Nissan? A whole $1,000 -- chump change in the world of pricey celeb tweets.
While this fairly small campaign won't do too much to boost awareness of the Juke among mainstream consumers, it's a good way to make inroads with Millenials, who appear to be squarely in the Juke's target demographic. Given how quiet Nissan's been on the social media front, we're hoping this is the start of something big.