Nailed It! Analyzing Nissan’s March Madness Commercial and Why it Works, Backed by Data 

How’s your March Madness bracket going? If you’re still recovering from this year’s back-to-back upsets, then you’ll know how it feels to be a would-be March Madness advertiser who found out the 2022 ad slots sold out ridiculously fast. The return of college basketball fans to the stands shows telltale signs of the first ‘back-to-normal’ NCAA tournament—and the big brands know it. 

FUN FACT: Did you know that 1 in 3 NCAA fans is a woman? Download The Playmaker’s Guide to Deep Consumer Data to uncover the nuances between men and women consumers in the March Madness fandom!

One household name that sponsored this year’s Madness of March is Nissan. Today, we’ll be doing a data-dive into the NCAA fandom using the Resonate Ignite Platform to see if the automotive brand nailed its strategy with the NCAA fans who are in-market for a car. Let’s get started. 

Nissan’s “Road 2”, featuring the Mascots 

We love a good cameo, and Nissan delivered by featuring the unsung heroes of the NCAA tournament: the Mascots. The “Road 2” campaign gave us 8 new ad spots that feature six of the brand’s newest vehicles. We’ll be looking at Resonate insights on March Madness Auto Intenders to see if Nissan nailed its marketing with the fans. 

This particular 15-second spot finds Pete The Seton Hall Pirate and the Hampton Pirate looking at an old map for directions to get to the Final Four. They’re having some trouble finding the way there. Fortunately, Baldwin the Boston College Eagle is there, in the all-new Ariya, and uses the Mobile Navigation to get there. Baldwin gets turn-by-turn directions and saves the day. Watch it below.

March Madness Auto Intenders: Audience Snapshot 

When looking at NCAA tournament fans, I segmented the viewers who are also planning to buy or lease a vehicle in the next 6 months. Our data shows that of the 68.8 million total audience, 11.5 million (about twice the population of Arizona) are in-market car buyers. This audience is personally driven by an optimistic outlook, as well as trust and respect from others. They personally value achievement, tradition, and humility. 

March Madness Auto Intenders | Audience Introduction

The mascots are on a road trip and using an old-school map, which gives hints of nostalgia and optimism. Compared to other “flashier” auto campaigns, this ad is a bit more modest and relatable. If you’ve ever been on a family road trip you can probably relate to the mascots. It gives the feeling that life really is about the journey, something the March Madness Auto Intenders may identify with seeing as part of their daily routine is practicing work-life balance.  

Next, let’s take a closer look at what the March Madness Auto Intenders are looking for in their next vehicles. 

Most Important Car Features & Attributes 

Resonate’s automotive study and behavioral profiles allow for the creation of intender segments so marketers can know who the in-market car buyers are. These insights and profiles can be connected to various digital properties including Connected TV, where a growing number of sports fans are watching content. 

After looking at the Audience Introduction Report, I dove into automotive-specific attributes in the Resonate Ignite Platform. Looking at the most important features and considerations for their next vehicle, the March Madness Auto Intenders care most about price, fuel efficiency, reliability, comfort and convenience, safety, and entertainment. 

March Madness Auto Intenders | Product Attributes

March Madness Auto Intenders | Product Attributes 2

I wouldn’t say this ad highlights all of the Ariya’s features as much as they showcase its attributes—but given they only had 15 seconds, we get the gist. The top three characteristics our intenders look for when buying a car are attractiveness, innovation, and energy efficiency. Not only is the Nissan Ariya an electric crossover checking off fuel-efficiency, but we also see how spacious, good looking from every angle, and innovative it is (did you see the café lounge style dashboard?) 

March Madness Auto Intenders | Top Product Attributes

We 100% think Nissan nailed it. What do you think? 

More importantly, are YOU ready to take your marketing to the next level with AI-driven insights on your audience? Don’t start the next quarter wondering who your target audience is, what they value, and how to reach them. Talk to us instead! 

Categorized as: Consumer Insights, Brand

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