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Nissan Streamlines Agency, Internal Infrastructure As It Embraces Connected TV

CANNES—Connected television and its targeted advertising benefits come at a good but very busy time for Nissan Motor Corporation. The company is in the midst of completely re-working its internal and agency infrastructure in the walkup to 70% of its vehicle lineup being “completely refreshed” over the next 18 months.

“We have to go to market with a very different approach. This is to moment for us to really transform,” VP of Marketing Allyson Witherspoon says in this interview with Beet.TV at the recent Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

After long relying on buying TV audiences by demographic, Nissan has been able to shift to its own audience segments “but it’s a manual process. With connected TV, all of that’s kind of integrated. It’s a seamless approach to it.

“For us it’s can we make sure that through video content and through connected TV how can we reach the right type of consumer in the right type of vehicle segments that we have for Nissan at the right time in the vehicle shopping process,” Witherspoon says.”

Asked by interviewer Jon Watts, who is managing partner of research and strategy consultancy MTM, how Nissan has been using either specialist agencies and/or internal data scientists, Witherspoon says “kind of all of the above. From an agency standpoint, we’ve eliminated the silos that have been traditional over the last several years. Basically, we have all of the subject matter experts all on one team.”

Everyone on the team gets the same brief to create a go-to-market plan for both creative and media. “So we’ve completely collapsed our agency silos into one team.”

On the publisher side, Witherspoon notes that Nissan recently attended the annual UpFronts and observes that “I think the UpFronts even are taking a much different approach that is going to be much more about connected TV.”

Nissan “thinks about TV differently now” and also how it approaches content creation.

“You can’t get away with one size fits all when it comes to a TV ad. Now we have to have custom content based on the audiences that we’re trying to reach.”

Her expectation for media partners is “understanding the business challenges that we have, having open conversations about how we need to be reaching the right type of consumers. And then as much as possible, how can we show how our marketing investment is connecting to transactions.”

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