Nissan’s breakthrough Pathfinder video campaign

July 10, 2013 at 11:11 PM

Case study in PDF

At the end of 2012 I pitched and won an innovative campaign for the launch of the Nissan Pathfinder in Mexico which was special enough to earn a mention in Google’s Q1 ’13 Earnings Call. (minute 23:10)

The campaign was a breakthrough both creatively and technically, leveraging a new remarketing technique to measure engagement.

When an advertiser takes full advantage of what the YouTube platform can offer, the results can be magical. At the end of 2012 Nissan Mexico ran a YouTube video campaign with TrueView ad formats that was both creatively and technically savvy.

With over 2,000,000 views generated it is worth noting that creative execution was probably also accompanied by a hefty media investment, as is usually the case with this sort of initiative, in order to get the word out to customers about why they should buy a Pathfinder and engage with the Nissan brand in general. An interesting case study was released describing the results and the campaign gained enough importance to be mentioned by Google SVP Nikesh Arora in the Q1 ’13 Earnings Call (minute 23:10).

Google Q1 2013 Earnings Call


Noteworthy details about the campaign:

  • The use of a custom YouTube brand channel to host the campaign (pictured below).
  • An original creative concept: The experience of a road-trip with the Pathfinder through the eyes of 7 different characters. The campaign had something for everyone, which plays on what Susan Wojcicki (and Google in general) has been saying about the future of advertising: that ad views will be voluntary.
  • 2 videos for each character’s experience (one short teaser and one longer version).
  • Excellent use of video remarketing to drive broader reach and deeper engagement.
  • A special measurement technique which determined the number of users who saw half or all of the 14 videos advertised.



Nissan Mexico’s Brand Channel on YouTube

Every great campaign grows from research and insight discovery; check out this list of 23 Google Tools & Sites for Research, Insights and Planning for a good place to start.