Yesterday’s Automotive News had a brief piece about Infiniti marketing that struck me as interesting. In it, they reported that “Infiniti has told its dealer advisory group that it is committing to a five-year run for the new ‘Way of Infiniti’ campaign–a long-term pledge intended to reassure retailers that the brand will have a consistent message.”
I immediately thought to myself “Good for them.”
Infiniti from the very beginning has had a difficult time establishing a brand identity and finding a way to execute it in communications. Introduced in 1989, Infiniti was Nissan’s response to the introductions of the other Japanese luxury marques, Acura and Lexus. The original Q45 was a sporty performance alternative to the Lexus. Unfortunately, Infiniti got off to a rough start when it introduced the car and brand with the infamous “rocks and trees” campaign created by its agency Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos.
The “rocks and trees” campaign sought to present Infiniti as the result of the unique Japanese culture and sensibility. The campaign attempted to make its Japanese origin an asset, similar to the way that the German brands have used their ‘German-ness.’ The Infiniti ads were very different than any automotive company had ever done (they didn’t even show the car initially). (more…)