Nissan Turns A New Leaf

In the short time window an online ad has to catch one’s eye, its ability to capture ones engagement within just a few seconds is imperative. Last Wednesday an advertisement for Nissan Leaf on the AOL homepage managed to do just that. The flash ad contained various images starting with that of a coffee cup with the phrase "the new fuel" appearing within the ad frame. Following phrases included "the new fill-up," "the new materials," then finally "the new car" with the image of the actual product: the Nissan Leaf. Ah, so this wasn’t an ad for a new brand of coffee, but rather a new car. Interesting tacit, but it got me engaged.

The ad took me to landing page where I researched the new features this advertisement was touting. The key ad pricing message certainly appears to be the key competitive edge for this new electric as it enters the growing category of fuel efficient cars. However, the ad had to capture my attention within its first images to communicate this key message.  To determine the impact of this new product ad I took a look at the daily reach rates for and saw that there was a nice bump in reach on June 9th, the date of the Nissan Leaf AOL homepage placement. There was also an increase in reach on June 11th which corresponded with a homepage placement for Nissan Altima on Yahoo, however it was the Leaf that gained the most traction.

In order to determine where the traffic to has been sourcing from, I used Compete-Pro’s  newly released referral analytics tool and found that it is the general portals and search that is coming out on top in referrals. This finding further confirms that the Nissan Leaf placement on the AOL homepage was indeed efficient for Nissan.

Lastly, I took a look at what percent of Nissan’s search share can be attributed to its new electric car debut. Compete’s search analytics referral revealed that the Nissan Leaf ranks #2 behind only that of the parent company Nissan in searches. Not bad for a new brand in which it is also beating out one of Nissan’s top sellers, the Altima.

These findings appear to illustrate a pretty good showing for Nissan’s new electric car. Although results from the "reserve now" call to action metric will determine the true ROI of Nissan Leafs advertising efforts, the positive gains in reach and search activity confirm that there is a growing interest in the Nissan Leaf occurring.  However, Nissan will need to quantify how the early interest turns into recurring interest.