5. Brand personality

On the blog feed off the top page of this site can be found a number of additional examples of campaigns that offer insight into how enterprises will project particular values and identity markers. Some campaigns may reference a firm’s product history, especially if one or more products have a certain ‘iconic’ status. We will discuss examples from Nissan in class and off the blog feed can be found examples from the campaign to promote the new Z sports car that explicitly harked back to a a much earlier incarnation of the Z product. There is also an example of marketing of the Skyline from the early-mid 1970s that proved to be immensely popular at the time (namely the ‘Ken & Mary look’).
In the last decade Nissan has been very effective in its commissioning of creative for television advertising, and also rather bold in its social media and event-based promotions. Under Carlos Ghosn’s leadership from 1999 Nissan has given strategic weight to design in refreshing Nissan’s brand identity, and also in speaking to women in key market segments and as ‘influencers’ the majority of car purchase decisions.

When the all new ‘March’ was released in Japan in 2005-6, notably as the first car to be made in Thailand and exported back to Japan for Nissan, the campaign targeted fashionable young women and made a series of commercials depicting seasonal variations and the wide palette of colours the car was available in. Unfortunately the quality of the video uploads are rather poor but the visual effectiveness of the entire campaign is nonetheless apparent.

Nissan’s branding approach can be summed up as ‘global coordination and local execution’; a global product line-up and standardised visual branding strategy but with locally-tailored content and campaign concepts. Here is an interesting example for the March in Brazil. It is obviously so very different from the Japanese context.

6. Exploring place and nation brands

Companies may associate with national images and in turn reinforce or reshape them. Airlines have long done so, partly as they are directly involved in getting potential customers to their home ports and also because, historically, of their ‘flag carrier’ status.

And the American making of it!..

Effective simple destination marketing

Let the visuals speak for themselves with the clever 100% Pure New Zealand, a long-lasting campaign that tapped NZ’s long reputation as a provider of wool and dairy and which is is typically labelled as ‘100% pure’.

A long version for general promotional purposes such as in expos, educational events..

and some  parody from near neighbours in Australia..

Clumsy destination marketing endeavours..

An Australian campaign that notoriously provoked debate at home and little interest abroad..

A pointed political parody that Tourism Australia initially tried to suppress, clumsily and in a quite counter-productive way. It responded to a bad instance of racial conflict in Sydney and Australia’s controversial policy of mandatory detention of asylum-seekers arriving by sea.

And another..

The response by another Australian television program, ‘The Chaser’, renowned for pranks.

Marketing the nation to itself?..

Cool Britannia, Cool Japan (?)…

‘Cool Britannia’ started as a play on the anthem Rule Britannia, was embraced by the then newly-elected government of Tony Blair as part of a nation rebranding endeavour, but then fell into some disfavour as campaign initiatives were criticised and some media criticised the gap between images projected and reality.

An American journalist, writing in Foreign Policy magazine, later wrote of Japan’s cultural influence abroad at a time when most narratives about Japan were pessimistic after the long period of economic stagnation in the 1990s. The article, and the magazine issue, was headlined with a reference to ‘Cool Japan’ which was then enthusiastically taken up by Japanese officials and some commentators. Today METI still has a Cool Japan  office and government policy uses the discourse as shorthand for its ‘soft power’/cultural diplomacy, and content industries export initiatives.

ANA jumps on the ‘Cool Japan’ bandwagon…

An earlier attempt.. (hmm…)

7. Perception

A nice little experiment on perceptions of magazine covers by female readers using eye tracking technology that is now commonly used to test the effectiveness of graphic and interface design. The research students are at the University College, University of Amsterdam; a SILS partner institution.

Getting attention to the familiar..

The safety video genre… getting attention for the mundane but important, and communicating an ethos associated with the carrier’s country-of-origin:

See, for instance, also several New Zealand instances…
By post production house WETA of Wellington, who did the work for the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, shot on location in New Zealand..
Rugby and the All Blacks, and quirky ‘kiwi’ outlook..


Using the All Blacks again, with a Men in Black reference working in several ways..

And trying to get people to pay attention to the safety video by having the crew wear nothing but body paint..

8. Communication theory

Our theoretical discussion has us thinking about the relationship between audience and communicator, about how messages may meet the psychological needs of the former even if the original communicative intent of the sender/performer is not fully shared.

The iconic sign American Pie by Don Mclean arguably shows this attribute. The first video is of a performance before a live studio audience in 1972 and reveals his audience’s affinity with him and the authenticity his singing projected. The second video is by a fan that explains the likely references of the various cryptic lyrics that made the song so enigmatic, and which Don Mclean avoided explaining.