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A Micra Revolution

In the Company of Huskies

A story about challenging stereotypes and defying expectations with a bit of bravery thrown in.

The Nissan Micra was seen for decades as “the granny car”. Even motoring correspondents made fun of it with comments like “no one ever aspired to a Micra, you just ended up with one if life didn’t go your way”. This is the story of how In the Company of Huskies changed perceptions and delivered Grad Prix winning results for the Micra. With Nissan Micra sales tanking, Nissan came close to killing the Micra brand altogether. They created a new design for the car, but would that be enough?

The market for new cars in Ireland was declining by -10.4% in 2017 (CSO). Nissan Ireland’s market share was in decline, they badly needed to recruit new customers.

Faced with these challenges, Nissan Ireland made the brave decision not to use the mandatory European campaign assets as they felt they didn’t go far enough. They briefed In the Company of Huskies to develop a campaign to turn a generation of brand rejecters into brand supporters and break the free from the clichés of car advertising.

Huskies developed a full through the line campaign ‘No more nice car’ that showed the “defiant” personality of the new Micra through a short film that was inspired by people’s old attitudes and how these preconceptions resulted in it being prematurely judged. Broken into three phases the campaign utilized different media and formats across the consumer journey that included social, digital, OOH, TV and Cinema

The results? Sales grew 106%, doubling its market share to 10%, when all other markets only grew to between 2-4% and winning the Grand Prix at the IAPI ADFX2018 awards in 2018.

The Irish Micra launch showed the power of effective marketing. The car was the same across Europe, the only difference was Ireland’s strategic and creative approach. It’s fair to conclude that award-winning creative and a strong multi-channel media campaign was the main contributor to the success of the launch and reversing the fortunes the Micra. It was a well-deserved result for Nissan Ireland who put their faith in the power of effective advertising.