NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
STOKED Beirut, LEBANON
We introduced Camelpower to the world: the first ever unit to measure automotive performance in the desert.
Following the example set by Henry Watt, the inventor of horsepower, we developed our unit around the most effective and efficient desert animal: the camel. Horsepower (hp) was developed with land-based experiments using a horse as a benchmark. Our sand-based experiments used a camel and followed a similar scientific approach, creating a formula and value for Camelpower (dCP).
We worked with Nissan engineers, accreditation experts and technical gurus to develop the formula and conduct field tests (accounting for sand friction, time, velocity, weight and inclination). Once a value for 1dCP was established, we measured the dCP value for Nissan’s top desert SUVs.
And there we had it. Not only an empirical way to measure the off-road performance of our SUVs, but a metric against which every other car could be measured.
Instead of an advertising campaign, we wanted to own a conversation. So, we started by working alongside third party engineers, technical experts and geology academics to create a robust formula and conduct rigorous field tests. Then we vetted the entire plan with Emirates Authority for Standardization & Metrology (ESMA). And that was just the due diligence.
To promote the concept, we had to explain the science. An 11-minute documentary shot by and aired on National Geographic brought the entire process to life, while we used social media platforms and formats to direct people to www.camelpower.ae, where they could learn more about the unit, the science, and most importantly, the Nissan SUV line-up.
Graphic illustrations drew analogies between camels and our SUVs across the website and our showrooms. And finally, following the announcement and film, talks were held at universities to promote the new unit and opportunities for future application.
1. Earned Media
-Campaign reached over 450M people with a minor budget as every major news outlet covered the story
-Earned 22m PR Media Impressions in GCC, worth $2.8m paid media
- 12.2 minutes average time spent on www.camelpower.ae (245% higher than Nissan average benchmark)
- 14% of visitors clicked through to SUV model pages on www.nissan.me
- Social post engagement rate of 3.87 (more than 2x that of Nissan new-model-launch posts)
3. Brand Impact
-Those who had been exposed to the campaign were 60% more likely to believe that Nissan made the best off-road SUVs (a 31ppt increase) and 64% more likely to believe Nissan was an innovative company (a 28ppt increase)
-Nissan’s Brand Affinity increased by +4 points
And while unexpected, in the month during and after the campaign, year-on-year sales for Patrol, Patrol Safari and Navara were significantly up (despite media spend being 83% down).
For many young men in the region, heading out to the desert and conquering monster dunes is a way of life. During the warm winter months, hundreds of people watch as SUVs line up to race up mountains of sand. YouTube videos and Instagram posts that capture the thrills generate hundreds of thousands of views, likes and comments. In partnership with National Geographic, we found a way to place Nissan at the heart of every conversation about off-roading and dune bashing. We developed content that was both entertaining and relevant, for the region, for our audience and for the brand.
If we talk about road cars, any debate around performance is easily resolved with stats about horsepower, torque or acceleration times. Publications and websites are dedicated to this type of content. No measure existed to accurately measure performance in the desert sand. 500HP might give you supercar acceleration, but it’s not worth much on soft, shifting sand. To end the debate and officially claim leadership, we proved that Nissan SUVs are the best desert off-roaders in the region by creating a new unit of desert performance measurement: Camelpower.
Credibility was a key factor. As such, we needed to follow a strict scientific process from start to finish. We needed to work with experts from Nissan (engineering, R&D and technical), plus third party engineers and geology professors. Furthermore, we needed official accreditation from the national standardization board. Only then would the science be robust and the metric accepted by the industry.