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. Media Outputs:
• Campaign reached over 450M people with a minor paid media budget. Covered by every major news outlet
• Earned 22m PR Media Impressions in GCC, worth $2.8m
• 240+ pieces of coverage
• 70% of coverage in Tier 1 outlets
2. Target Audience Outcomes:
• Those exposed to the campaign were 60% more likely to believe that Nissan made the best off-road SUVs and 64% more likely to believe Nissan was an innovative company
• Nissan’s Brand Affinity increased by +4 points
• 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
• 3.87 Social post engagement rate (2x Nissan new-model-launch posts)
3. Business Outcomes:
• Year-on-year sales of Patrol increased 97% in March / 26% in April
• Patrol Safari year-on-year sales increased 60% in March / 99% in April
• Navara year-on-year sales increased 170% in March / 49% in April
• This was achieved despite media spend being 83% down
Most big brands have the budget to pay for reach and media impressions. Few have the bravery to invest in an idea that will earn it. By creating a completely new industry benchmark for automotive desert performance, Nissan Middle East managed to own the conversation around off-roading, assert brand leadership and generate media impressions worth over $2.8m.
It required a completely different approach, but in partnership with National Geographic, we created an industry innovation that worked as a platform to promote the Nissan SUV line-up.
Which car is best in the desert is a never-ending debate on social media platforms and dune-basher forums across the region. 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. Sure, we had to follow a strict scientific process from start to finish, but how we told the story was also crucial. Coming directly from the brand, it would feel like empty PR and advertising. If however, the story was told by National Geographic, and we invited key automotive bloggers and journalists to see the testing for themselves, the idea had the potential to pick up momentum all on its own and help Nissan to own the conversation around desert off-roading.