GLOBAL ECONOMY

Nissan jumps back into Super Bowl ad scrum with heartfelt spot – 'with a twist'

  • Still from Nissan's Super Bowl 2015 ad.

    Still from Nissan's Super Bowl 2015 ad.

Some companies seem to jump into the Super Bowl ad scrum year after year after year, joining in the noisy babble of high-pressure pitches and jokey punchlines that characterize the biggest marketing (as well as sporting) event of the year.

Other firms take a longer view.

Nissan is jumping back into the fray this year with a 90-second spot after an 18-year absence from advertising during the Big Game.

"An investment in the Super Bowl is serious," Fred Diaz, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Nissan North America, told Fox News Latino, and he wasn't necessarily talking about the money involved.

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"You have to have a strong campaign," Diaz said, "that continues to resonate after the Super Bowl across a number of platforms."

In exchange for an average cost of $4.5 million per 30 seconds to advertise on the CBS telecast of the game, companies can reach an audience of around 115 million Americans.

With that kind of reach, Diaz said, "It can't just be one and done."

Nissan is playing its spot close to the vest, releasing only a 10-second clip prior to the game. Set to the iconic Harry Chapin song, "Cat's in the Cradle," the ad focuses on a father who provides for and makes sacrifices for his family.

"With a Super Bowl ad, you have to make the viewer laugh or cry," Diaz said. "You have to connect emotionally. We wanted something that will make a good, true connection with people and will let them know that Nissan cares about Americans and understands their lives and struggles."

"So we took a sad song and put a twist on it," Diaz said.

Beyond the spot itself, Nissan is using its YouTube channel to air dad-centered videos created by social media trend-setters, tweeting related material with a #withdad hashtag and donating a combined $1 million to the Wounded Warrior Project and Habitat for Humanity. 

Diaz, who has been named one of the most influential Hispanic business leaders in the U.S. by Hispanic Business, also reports to a Latino boss, executive vice president José Muñoz.

"Diversity in an organization leads to better decision-making," Diaz said. "Having diversity at the table is what leads to the best solution to problems that come up.

Nissan was named one of Diversity Inc's Top 25 Noteworthy Companies in April 2014.

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