INFINITI'S INNOVATIVE LAUNCHES IN A COVID WORLD

TitleINFINITI'S INNOVATIVE LAUNCHES IN A COVID WORLD
BrandINFINITI
Product / ServiceQX55 & QX60 MONOGRAPH CAR LAUNCHES
CategoryA03. Durable Consumer Goods including Automotive
EntrantINFINITI MOTOR COMPANY Yokohama, JAPAN
Idea Creation INFINITI MOTOR COMPANY Yokohama, JAPAN
Idea Creation 2 IMRE Baltimore, USA
Media Placement IMRE Baltimore, USA
PR IMRE Baltimore, USA
Production INFINITI MOTOR COMPANY Yokohama, JAPAN
Production 2 LIVE NATION Los Angeles, USA

Credits

Name Company Position
Wendy Orthman INFINITI Motor Company GM, Global Communications
Steve Coughlan INFINITI Motor Company Senior Manager, Global Communications
Michelle Hogan INFINITI Motor Company Manager, Global Communications

Why is this work relevant for PR?

INFINITI was tasked with launching two new cornerstone SUVs in its luxury portfolio. Both debuts hinged on style-centric stories that begged nuance, and personalized storytelling in new socially distanced world; showing is always better than telling. Nonetheless, INFINITI rose to that challenge. Utilizing a combination of strategies — film, in-person events, music, and technology — INFINITI set its own path forward. Live Nation was also a critical partner for one of the launches. Not only were both debuts successful, but they also provided a roadmap for INFINITI to engage and entertain its consumers and fans in a rapidly changing world.

Background

Typically, new car debuts centered on auto show reveals, in-person walkarounds, face-to-face interviews and similar mass gatherings. Without those avenues, INFINITI and its partners quickly pivoted to immersive online presentations that offered exclusive and unprecedented access to its inner confines, usually closed to the public; hosted entertaining performances with global superstars and key executives; and forged relationships to reach target audiences. For the QX60 Monograph design study, revealed August 2020 — a car that points the way stylistically to a three-row vehicle that will debut in 2021 — INFINITI needed to reach beyond the standardized formula for a new car debut with an immersive film. For a stylish new crossover like the 2022 INFINITI QX55 revealed October 2020, its impact on the automaker's identity was substantial. The QX55 not only embraced INFINITI's ethos that "Luxury should be lived in," but also embraced the automaker's identity as a daring, fashion-forward brand.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

Billed as a design study, the QX60 Monograph was vital to communicate to media and consumers what INFINITI's new design language could be in one of the biggest and most profitable automotive segments. Centering on an immersive, "virtual" reveal film the QX60 Monograph shined. Participants could virtually "place" a QX60 Monograph in their driveways thanks to an augmented reality app. Additional information about the QX60 Monograph was readily available thanks to a QR code. Not long after its successful launch of the QX60 Monograph, INFINITI again turned to an immersive, multi-medium reveal — with a personal touch, of course. INFINITI partnered with Live Nation and global superstar Aloe Blacc, whose music connects to the brand with its unmistakable sound and verve. Blacc, who performed at the iconic Belasco Theater in Los Angeles for the reveal film, was seamlessly paired to key INFINITI executives in Japan in the film.

Describe the PR strategy (30% of vote)

Faced with revealing two new cornerstone products in its portfolio of luxury automobiles sold worldwide, INFINITI and its partners transformed how new-car debuts could be handled virtually and responsibly in a rapidly changing world. Following the formula of auto show debuts, in-person walk-arounds, test drives, and face-to-face interviews wouldn't work; INFINITI needed to map its new road for success. INFINITI quickly pivoted to immersive online presentations that offered exclusive and unprecedented access to its inner confines usually closed to the public; hosted engaging and entertaining performances with global superstars and key executives; and forged relationships to reach beyond our collective isolation. INFINITI's international programs from its new headquarters in Yokohama, Japan, led to major media impressions in target markets. The QX60 was targeted in the US, Canada, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia, China and Taiwan, while the QX55 was targeted in the US, Canada, Latin America, the Middle East.

Describe the PR execution (20% of vote)

For the QX60 Monograph, INFINITI developed a multi-medium reveal film that transported viewers from the automaker's new home in Yokohama to its Atsugi design studio — strictly off-limits to just about everyone — and its new gallery at its global headquarters. Combining A and VR, live-action video and rendered footage, the INFINITI QX60 Monograph premiered a new concept for a rapidly changing media and global landscape. For the QX55, INFINITI partnered with Live Nation and worked with Blacc for his sound, style, and energetic performances for an entertaining and engaging streaming concert experience that complemented the car’s bold attitude. Complementing the dynamic reveal film, INFINITI and its partners mailed to media members their own watch party kit: champagne, cookies, a ring light, and a QR code to stream Blacc's newest album. The mailers were sent to several influential lifestyle media, who posted about the package on their social channels.

List the results (30% of vote)

Both launches were incredible successes. Even without in-person events this year, INFINITI smartly pivoted and found ways to garner tremendous conversation around two crucial launches for the brand. The QX60 Monograph launch produced the following metrics in its targeted markets (Japan, U.S., Canada, Russia, Mexico, China, Taiwan and the Middle East): - 3B+ earned media impressions, including in major publications like Yahoo!, The Global and Mail, Associated Press, Cars.com, MSN, Car and Driver, Autoweek - 1.5K+ unique stories and videos 72 hours after launch - 85% positive or neutral sentiment - 36 unique videos on YouTube totaling 640K+ total views - 63K+ visits across INFINITI websites - Coverage in major marketing publications around the launch (i.e. MediaPost) The QX55 launch produced the following metrics from its target markets (Japan, U.S., Canada, Russia, Mexico and the Middle East): - 5B+ earned media impressions, including in major publications like Car and Driver, Forbes, CNET Roadshow, The Globe and Mail, and more - 2.6K+ unique stories - 95% positive or neutral sentiment - 40% share of voice amongst similar car launches - 199K+ views of the virtual reveal on YouTube - 44K+ views on global stories in English and Japanese - Coverage in major marketing publications around the launch (i.e. MediaPost)

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