February 6th, 2023

Nissan partners with CNN for global campaign on EV performance

Nissan’s new ‘Design in Motion’ campaign amplifies the exciting potential of the all-electric crossover Nissan ARIYA, specifically focusing on the benefit of smooth acceleration, while highlighting synergies with the brand’s Formula E team. With the partnership spearheaded by CNN International Commercial (CNNIC), Nissan’s campaign will run across various Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) properties including CNN and Bleacher Report, enabling ‘Design in Motion’ to reach target audiences around the world that are adopters of EVs and who are interested in news, lifestyle and sport.


The ‘Design in Motion’ hero film, produced by Dark Horses, demonstrates how e-4ORCE technology featured in the Nissan ARIYA enabled the creation of a traditional zoetrope animation in real life, using the Nissan ARIYA as the camera. With the help of Nissan Formula E Team, the stunt was captured at an airfield with 450 metres of boards, 150 illustrated animation frames, each printed out 3m by 2m size.


The smooth acceleration of the Nissan ARIYA was the key element in capturing the perfect moment to produce this animation, which itself borrows from the traditional art of Shodo calligraphy, a nod to Nissan’s Japanese heritage. Complementary to this, CNNIC’s in-house studio Create worked alongside the Dark Horses crew to shoot an in-depth behind the scenes (BTS) film highlighting the cinematic scale of the production. Create portrayed the lengths the team goes to as the BTS film observes the people and technology throughout the process to encapsulate the excitement, drama, tension and detailed craft and expertise of the Dark Horses film crew and Nissan driver seeing their hopes, fears and joy once the time-specific animation was complete. Meanwhile on-the-fly audio from the crew allowed for genuine reportage style filmmaking to ensure key moments were authentically captured.


Tommaso Volpe, Managing Director, Nissan Formula E Team, drew comparisons between this shoot and how the team prepares for a race: “This is very similar to what we do in Formula E. We have a lot of preparation before going to a race, and qualifying is very short – there is a lot of pressure to perform and you literally have one shot.”


Martin Laing, Director of Production & Global Executive Producer, Create brand studio, CNN International Commercial, also commented: “This large-scale behind the scenes production was a joy to work on.  At Create we complemented Dark Horses’ vision for the commercial using wide vistas and highspeed low light capture cameras to reflect the demands of the full shoot as it happens, demonstrating how each step of the crew, the car and the driver made the zoetrope animation a reality. Our production was carbon-neutral, in line with our sustainability initiative Create Responsibly, which also reflected the credentials of the Nissan ARIYA as an EV.” 


The BTS film is distributed across CNN, Bleacher Report and additional WBD digital native placements, facilitating one campaign over multiple platforms and environments, reaching target audiences using innovative proprietary contextual and audience insight tools.  This is paired with in-house technology to serve target audiences on Facebook and Instagram. The full ‘Design in Motion’ campaign, BTS and sponsored article are featured on a dedicated campaign page on CNN digital which, along with display and pre-roll assets, drives traffic to the Nissan ARIYA webpages for each market.


As a supporter of Ad Net Zero, the Create production team applied carbon reduction measures throughout the project. Offsetting what was remaining through the AdGreen Carbon Calculator, which works with accredited offset partner Ecologi, to fund climate projects around the world. The carbon neutral production funded the planting of 25 trees in Madagascar as part of the Kandrany 2 project.