Fast cars and action films have been related for donkey’s years –car makers have wisely used movies as a tool to market their products and connect with their prospective customers. The formula has been really simple – associate with a big budget film with mega star-cast, involve your flagship car in some unrealistic car-chase and stunts and hope that the film does well. From James Bond to our desi Ra-One things really haven’t been any different – not that we are complaining, but it is so much more fun when companies use innovative ways to market their brands.
How about this? Instead of featuring a car in a film, produce a film for the car, feature your customers in the movie through a contest on a social networking website, hire a blockbuster celebrity, since we are in India – construct a love story and do some stunts with 100 cars that actually don’t involve destroying them in the end. Sounds interesting? Actually it is a lot more, as this very idea has got Nissan more than five-lakh ‘likes’ on their Facebook page in a very short while.
We are talking about Nissan’s short film ‘New Star of India’. Nissan announced their plans last October and asked aspiring contestants to upload a 45-second video clip of themselves dancing in signature bollywood moves. Twenty lucky winners were then selected to feature alongside their brand ambassador Ranbir Kapoor in a four minute short film, which looks like a climax scene of a typical desi film. The movie involves 100 Micras which has also made the movie eligible for Limca Book of World Records and has been shot at Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad. The film was released yesterday on the social networking website –Facebook and may just get a sequel soon – the last bit was just a guess, but yeah this might just become the new formula!
We were a little curious to know more about the campaign, so shot a few questions to Nissan and this is what they had to say.
1. Since it is a brand promo activity, why was only the Micra chosen for the stunts - why not the entire line-up?
A: We Chose Micra because it exemplifies the youth, vigor and energy. The Micra has mass appeal among the young and mobile population of India and was the ideal choice for the Nissan New Star of India Campaign. The fact that this campaign has to be run on an online platform like Facebook made its connect very well with the youth and mobile population in India.
Youth Icon Ranbir Kapoor being the brand ambassador of Micra suited well for the campaign. It was a fantastic line up of Ranbir, Micra and Facebook.
2. I believe that most of your stunt drivers are generally behind the wheel of a GT-R or a 370Z. How was the experience in the Micra, especially in the Indian environment?
A: It is a fact that drivers deployed for this movie are used to maneuver sports cars and SUV's. However, it so turned out that maneuvering Micra was quiet an experience to them all.
Drivers and stunt-masters who participated in the shoot have commented that Micra had tremendous agility at high speeds as well as good power delivery from the engine. The brilliant gearbox with ideal gear ratios and acceleration have excited them all. At the end of the shoot, the drivers behind the wheels felt that this car is ideally suited for Indian roads and is the best hatch back available in the country.
3.Were any other stunts planned before finalizing on this one? If yes, what were they?
A.Elaborate planning and rehearsals were carried out before the final shoot at Ramoji Film, Hyderabad in December 2011.
Thumbs up to Nissan or let us say ‘like’ for this Facebook based campaign. No, we are not trying to market their products nor trying to feature in their next film, just that we want more manufacturers to use innovative ideas and make this industry a little more fun. Anyone listening?
P.S. Attached trailer of the movie “New Star of India”, the full movie is available on Nissan India Facebook page.