Product / ServiceNISSAN LEAF
CategoryA05. Automotive


Name Company Position
Lavanya Wadgaonkar Nissan Asia & Oceania Vice President Regional Communications, External & Government Affairs
Kalle Siebring Nissan Asia & Oceania General Manager Communications – Strategy & Reputation
Cedric Ratinaud Nissan Asia & Oceania General Manager Communications – Brand & Creative, General Manager Marketing Communications
Haja Cessay Assistant General Manager Communications - Audience & Insights Nissan Asia & Oceania
Natalie Scarr Nissan Asia & Oceania Assistant General Manager – Corporate Communications

Why is this work relevant for PR?

Introducing electric vehicles (EVs) into markets virtually untouched by them, Nissan brought the public on a journey of the new Nissan LEAF. “Electrifying the Future” used storytelling and education across earned channels for a diverse region. This facilitated an ecosystem for EVs, communicating how Nissan LEAF changes the way people drive and live. Media efforts addressed societal concerns on EVs boldly - bringing Nissan LEAF across terrains, creating experiences showcasing technology, and facilitating real-world discussions with technical experts; along with digital resources. Efforts led to strong mass media results, EV share-of-voice, and tangible impact on sales leads and government collaborations.


Nissan commissioned a Frost & Sullivan study, which found that one-third of the region were open to an EV as their next car. Yet, barriers such as power and safety concerns inhibited adoption to the tune of 96%, as few in Asia and Oceania had test driven or understood what it meant to purchase an EV. There was also a lack of ecosystem established to support EVs. Nissan faced the challenge of introducing this new type of mobility presented by Nissan LEAF. This involved opening doors for the vehicle to enter Asia and Oceania, as one which transforms the way people drive and live. Nissan sought to: 1. Establish itself as an innovative, reliable leader in vehicle electrification that brings EVs to the masses 2. Engage relevant media to build the EV ecosystem, to reach consumers, business partners and government leaders 3. Drive pre-bookings and sales for the Nissan LEAF

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

While not physically possible to bring millions into the Nissan LEAF, Nissan bridged the gap with the use of comprehensive 360-degree storytelling across earned platforms in a diverse media landscape. Leveraging regional conversations and news on air and noise pollution, Nissan took the bold risk of putting a mirror in front of society to address tough issues with the Nissan LEAF. This went beyond the car to communicate electrification and its benefits to society, tailored to an audience with differing levels of exposure, maturity, and acceptance within the EV market. It also entailed communicating to establish an ecosystem open and conducive for an EV like the Nissan LEAF, to demonstrate a new type of mobility for Asia and Oceania. The multi-platform earned campaign showcased the Nissan LEAF across different terrains and backdrops, used experiential platforms to demonstrate its power and intelligence, along with educational online content for media sharing.

Describe the strategy (30% of vote)

Through “Electrifying the Future”, Nissan targeted consumers in Asia and Oceania, many whom were early adopters of new technologies, while conscious of sustainability. As this audience grows with anticipated awareness, Nissan also sought to target potential car owners, highlighting accessibility of electrification and the Nissan LEAF. Beyond consumers, Nissan used media to reach industry leaders, government officials, and communities, to drive dialogue and create opportunities that advanced the vehicle electrification ecosystem, demonstrating how Nissan LEAF moves and excites people. Using on-site and digital resources, Nissan took a five-pronged multi-channel approach for the Nissan LEAF storytelling journey: 1. Technology – showcasing intelligent, practical attributes of the car 2. Accessibility – relating the Nissan LEAF to global consumer events 3. Innovation – communicating the problem-solving behind the car’s development 4. Education – creating content to bridge consumer awareness 5. Society – driving societal understanding of how electrification of mobility improves lives

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

Over six months, the campaign bridged online and offline worlds to engage and enable media to deepen conversations on electrification. 1. Media drove the Nissan LEAF across two landscapes with varying terrains within two continents – Hong Kong and Madrid – along with a challenge to save energy. 2. Experiences were held parallel to world-famous events, relating media to Nissan LEAF: UEFA Champions League Final (Nissan as main sponsor) and Hong Kong E-prix where Nissan’s Formula-E cars participated. 3. Rare access on multimedia stages with technical experts including Nissan’s Maarten Sierhus, industry pioneer in vehicle AI and former NASA research scientist. Quick charge experiences for media to understand redefined mobility. 4. Educational videos tackling misconceptions of EVs, addressing region-wide issues like pollution, were published on social media for media sharing. 5. Further societal impact through discussions, hosted by Nissan for the media, along with government, communities and industry leaders.

List the results (30% of vote) – must include at least two of the following tiers:

Activation efforts from “Electrifying the Future” saw Nissan reach media directly, together with founders, industry headers and policymakers – all who were key to influencing the EV space in the region, and potential advocates for the Nissan LEAF. Within half a year, efforts saw 68 media from 11 countries personally experience the Nissan LEAF, alongside 225 stakeholders who presented more opportunities for storytelling. Along with digital seeding and media announcements, these drove 1,014 pieces of media coverage, with a combined publication reach of 374.8 million to-date. The pure-earned sharing of online content also generated a 339% increase in Youtube engagements for Nissan Asia and Oceania. These led Nissan to take on the number one EV leadership position for media share-of-voice against its competitors – all prior to the Nissan LEAF’s arrival in the region. The business also continues to accelerate through newly-built relationships and ongoing discussions with government officials and business stakeholders.


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