All-knowing Altima...

Enough said.

In this ad, Nissan makes the Altima’s ability to beep once its tires are at the appropriate pressure level analogous to having that little person on your shoulder telling you how to act in a given social situation. This ad successfully utilized the emotional appeal of humour, cognitive and affective message tactics and dramatization as an executional framework. This ad focuses on the information search and evaluation of alternatives stages of the purchase process and is trying to evoke feelings of “liking” for the Altima over other brands and models.  The Altima’s target audience in this advertisement is young professionals and the brand is positioned so as to provide innovative solutions to everyday tasks to meet their audience’s increasing needs for convenience and efficiency. A possible extension of this campaign would include the use of sponsorship.

"Innovation that excites"

This is an advertisement for the 2013 Nissan Altima. This ad is targeted at the information search and evaluation of alternatives stages of the purchase process and is trying to evoke “liking” for the Altima.  Since the purchase of a vehicle is a purchase that involves both high involvement and rational thinking, attitudes are built in the Cognitive – Affective– Conative process.   In this ad, the brand is using humour to develop favourable attitudes about the Altima that will impact one’s internal search and strengthen the brand’s association with innovation in the mind of consumers.

Target Audience

The advertisement’s target audience includes young professionals who have very busy lifestyles and are trying to make their way in the world.  These young professionals want simplicity and solutions to everyday tasks that will ensure the efficient use of their time. This audience is technically savvy, constantly connected through use of smartphones and tablets and is ready to embrace product innovations.  The positioning of the Nissan Altima is as follows: to take advantage of social trends, such as the increased desire for convenience and innovative solutions that will allow for the efficient use of one’s time, and the underserved markets of young professionals who are looking for a car that is as technologically connected and savvy as they are.

Message Appeal

Rational Appeal

The message’s appeal is part rational and part emotional. A rational message appeal requires the consumer to pay attention to the advertisement and compare its message to his or her existing knowledge about the particular type of product. For example, in this advertisement when the consumer learns about how the Altima will beep once its tires are at the right air-pressure level, he or she must then search one’s internal knowledge base to see whether they know of any other car model that offers this feature. Usually, TV ads are too short for consumers to comprehend the message. However, in this particular advertisement, the message is very short and can be conveyed in a TV ad.

Emotional Appeal

A message with emotional appeal helps with creating brand loyalty. In this advertisement, Nissan used humour, a technique that will help the brand cut through the clutter and catch the consumer’s attention.  If the ad’s humour is directly connected to the product benefits and ties together the feature in question, its advantages and the target audience’s personal values, then the ad will be successful in getting consumers to watch, laugh and remember the brand.

Laughter is golden

In this ad, Nissan made the Altima’s ability to tell you when to stop filling the tires analogous to having that little person on your shoulder telling you how to act in social situations. Furthermore, the humour used links to the personal values of the Altima’s target audience of young professionals. These young professionals are looking to make their way in the world and appreciate having some of the “guess work” taken out of certain mundane tasks. The ad links its humour to the product’s feature, its advantages (“telling you when to stop”) and its target audience’s values for ease of use and convenience. By successfully utilizing humour, this ad should be able to capture consumers’ attention and lead to higher recall of the Nissan Altima’s brand.

Message Tactics

In regards to message tactics, this ad employs cognitive and affective tactics. A cognitive message tactic is based on product features and focuses on giving the consumer additional knowledge that will cause him or her to re-evaluate current beliefs on this product category. With the ad’s message “our most innovative Nissan ever”, Nissan is employing a unique selling proposition as this is an explicit claim of superiority that can be verified.  This is depicting the Altima as a car with “innovative” product benefits so as to encourage consumers to think about whether other car brands that are currently within their internal search are truly innovative.

An affective tactic involves using a message to evoke emotions that can then be linked to the product or brand in question. With the ad’s tagline “Nissan: Innovation that excites”, the company is trying to evoke the excitement that is linked with the major life events that were depicted in the ad and which their target audience of young professionals are currently experiencing.  With the examples of getting a job and gambling at the casino, Nissan is trying to imply that having the Altima will make it easier for the consumer to get that excitement as they no longer have to worry about mundane tasks such as how much  air to fill their tires with: the Altima will take care of that.  

Executional Framework

The executional framework employed is this ad is dramatization. The problem of not knowing when enough is enough is introduced, yet there is suspense as to what the solution to the problem truly is. It is not until the end of the commercial that a consumer is informed that this commercial is actually for a car.


To expand the campaign, the brand should utilize public relations, and more specifically the use of sponsorship, as it helps build brand loyalty and positive feelings about the brand through interaction with consumers in a unique setting.   Public relations are a unique, attention-grabbing tool that generates lots of “buzz” for the brand with the target audience in a cost-effective manner. This second message delivery tool would also aim at generating "liking" for the Altima over other similar car models and brand loyalty for Nissan in general. In this case, Nissan would have to sponsor an event that has an audience profile that matches its target audience of young professionals.

An example of an event that the Nissan Altima could sponsor would be the Top 20 under 20 Awards. This is an organization that recognizes tomorrow’s leaders who have made an impact on society, often using very innovative means.  At this event, the Nissan Altima could showcase all the other innovative product features that are included with the model and try to create a connection with these young leaders by telling them that they require a car that is as innovative as they are. This will be done again with the goal of creating liking for the brand aimed at both the information search and evaluation of alternatives stages.

The sponsorship of this event should be complimented with an advertising campaign that would be very similar to the current advertisement in media selection, however it would have more of a pulsating schedule in regards to timing with burst just before and after the main event.  These advertisements could use an emotional appeal in the form of pride in the accomplishments both it and these young professionals have made.


Clow, Kenneth E., Donald E. Baack, and John Peloza.Integrated Advertising, Promotion, and Marketing Communications. Canadian Ed. Toronto: Pearson, 2012. 412. Print.

J. Scholz - COMM 335 course slides

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