I always love hearing case studies. Really. Must be a sickness, but there is something very cool about seeing how effective or ineffective things are within the business world, that’s why I was very intrigued when I received an email from MediaPost featuring an article entitled, Nissan's Agency Details Online Branding Success.
The article discusses some great strides by one of Nissan’s ad agencies, Tequila USA, made with a very limited budget to promote the Nissan Rogue SUV. They went the viral video route along with a video game featured on the Nissan USA website.
Two viral videos were done called “Maze Master” that featured the use of a wooden tilt-board game that was also turned into an online video game.
What’s interesting about the MediaPost article are the success claims by Kristi Vandenbosch, president at Tequila USA. The numbers just don’t ad up.
The campaign's results were so successful they even surprised Vandenbosch, she said. In four weeks, the YouTube videos were viewed more than 200,000 times.
I went on YouTube this afternoon and both videos had about 25,000 views each, putting the combined total 75% less than the claimed 200,000 views. I’m guessing the 200,000 number includes views of the videos on Nissan’s own website which really isn’t that surprising when you consider their web site has traffic going to it from all of their spend on media and search engine optimization.
"Many car dealerships were starting to see waiting lists to buy the car, which they hadn't seen in quite some time," Vandenbosch said.
Really? The sales numbers reflect a pretty steady sales volume for the Nissan Rogue. This is a good thing in a down economy where a lot of products were taking double-digit year-over-year sales hits (the Rogue only had one negative month in November with a –2.8% sales that month.) So, it looks like the car was beating the industry trend, but waiting lists? That’s pretty hard to believe based on the sales numbers and no significant jumps in sales.
Sales numbers not matching up with marketing success claims certainly isn’t news. I remember a good friend of mine at the Michigan MBA program who once told our marketing class that marketers just round to the nearest million. I just wish marketing case studies given at conferences were more reliable with their results. I’m always suspicious just as I was reading the MediaPost article today. Oh well, at least I learned something about Nissan’s marketing efforts with the Rogue and played a decent automotive video game that wasn't your atypical car race game.