INFINITI launches marketing campaign driven by creators

May 13, 2024
Emmy Liederman
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Today’s consumer market is run by creators. 

We see our favorite TikTokers promoting new beauty products, an Instagram model showing off new threads, and nutritionists sharing their choice foods and snacks on YouTube. 

Creators and influencers are everywhere—and they’re a big part of how we recognize brands today.

But what about luxury cars?

Most vehicle brands still spend thousands of dollars (if not millions) creating their own high-quality commercials: a man’s deep voice describing the look and feel of the car while viewers see it trudging through mountains, cities, and other landscapes.

We’ve all seen them. For a long time, there’s been a major lack of creativity in this market.

Until recently… 

INFINITI, the luxury division of Nissan, has launched a new creator-powered campaign called Capture INFINITI.

According to the agency leading the campaign, INFINITI is looking for ways to differentiate itself within the growing competitive luxury vehicle space, which is why it teamed up with seven creators to launch a one-of-a-kind creator-led campaign. The campaign showcases INFINITI’s QX series. 

Again, we’re not talking about big-name celebrities hocking the latest sexy vehicle. We’re talking about real creators using their talents to show the vehicle in a different, more interesting way.

In case you missed it, here’s Capture INFINITI

Capture INFINITI showcases several creators and their endeavors with an INFINITI vehicle. Each creator was given a different vehicle in the QX series to “fuel their creative pursuits.” 

The creators are from all over Canada, including Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Calgary. Using their own signature style, each creator set out to capture videos and photos to tell unique stories about their adventures with their INFINITI vehicle by their side. 

Jon Simo, one of the creators who took a journey from Vancouver to Tofino, wrote on his Instagram

“I wanted to find locations that would accentuate the elegant and refined beauty of the INFINITI QX60 while simultaneously showcasing its versatility and confidence off the beaten path. After driving 3000km in this vehicle in just 7 days I definitely learned a lot about it, you can’t help but form an emotional connection to something that helps tackle such an adventure.”

To strategize and execute this campaign, INFINITI worked with Alternator Group (a part of Omnicom Media Group). Alternator is a division that specializes in out of the box solutions for content production.

According to Jon Godfrey, a senior producer of content for Alternator, the goal of the campaign was to develop an array of assets, giving INFINITI a library that can be used over a year-long period.

“We wanted to do something in the influencer space for INFINITI that was different … Now that they have this library, they can determine on a month-by-month basis where they want to deploy their assets,” said Godfrey. “INFINITI has had a lot of changes over the last decade: from model names to vehicle refreshes, and brand updates. It was more important for us to focus more on building the brand in a compelling way for potential consumers than it was to push for lower funnel activity. Especially for work with influencers, as it is best suited for awareness-based purposes.”

What inspired Capture INFINITI? 

INFINITI is Godfrey’s main client. He’s been working with the brand for a few years now. He explains the relationship as a “long and trusting one,” where he’s been able to create a variety of content programs with them over the years.

It was one of these past campaigns that inspired Capture INFINITI. 

“Last year, we worked with Alen Palander to create a program called Luxury Heard, which was showcasing the all-new QX 55 with a video asset. It told the story about the vehicle using only the sounds of the vehicle and environment,” said Godfrey. 

The Luxury Heard campaign performed so well that Godfrey and his team were thinking about how they could take a similar idea to the next level. Additionally, they had a larger budget to work with since INFINITI hasn’t been able to attend trade shows for a few years due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Godfrey explained, “We decided we could expand on the original campaign and create a plethora of content for the brand to use over the year instead of just a singular asset. Our idea was to cover the entire fleet—not just one vehicle.”

Since they decided to work with Canadian creators, the videos also plug Canadian landmarks throughout the creators’ journeys. 

“We made sure they included as much Canadian signage and architecture to make sure INFINITI could have a Canadian presence if the assets are picked up globally.”

Through Capture INFINITI, the luxury vehicle company now has access to hundreds of assets they’re planning to use across social media, billboards, and even in-flight advertisements.

But why did INFINITI work with creators instead of just paying to create their own assets? 

It’s because creators provide new insights into your market—since they’re consumers themselves. 

In Godfrey’s words: “Creators offer a balance between understanding what users want to see on social media, as well as being able to develop compelling content that meets that need. And they can do so in a cost-effective manner.”

What DTC brands can learn from INFINITI’s campaign

During his time at Alternator Group, Godfrey has managed a number of creator-led campaigns like Capture INFINITI, and he said he’s learned a few key lessons for marketers at DTC brands who are looking to level-up their creator content.

Lesson 1: Don’t bite off more than you can chew

Remember, the goal of the Capture INFINITI campaign was to create a plethora of assets for the brand to use. 

On one hand, Godfrey and his team definitely achieved that goal, but on the other hand it meant the brand had to spend time going through each asset. 

“This campaign in particular made me realize to not bite off more than you can chew. I think we bit a bit too much in the long run. It’s all beneficial, but it did slow down production to have seven creators doing a hundred or so pieces of content for the brand to review,” said Godfrey.

His advice? Keep your project lean. It can be easy to want to make it bigger and bigger, but remember there is always more to do than you initially think about.

Lesson 2: Consider negotiations and contracts 

Through a lot of trial and error over the years, Godfrey learned the importance of considering how you can use assets from creators outside of your immediate campaign—and making sure you negotiate rights for those use-cases ahead of time in the contract.

For example, maybe you want to use a creator asset in a TikTok ad, send it in a direct mail campaign to current customers, or use it in an email flow. Whatever the purpose, always think about these needs ahead of time.

“With these extra needs in mind, at least ask how expensive the rights would be per category, per region, and according to a set amount of time. Then you can decide if it's right to purchase these rights before the content goes to market,” explained Godfrey.

In his experience, it’s always easier to execute these rights at the beginning of the campaign versus at the end (after the content is already out).

Since Godfrey partnered with #paid to find the creators for the Capture INFINITI campaign, #paid also helped make these negotiations easier. 

“Influencer and creator marketing has a lot more management demands than most marketing individuals are aware of or want to deal with. It’s important to be cognizant of this fact and have a team that’s willing to work together and share the load. #paid is that team for me in scenarios such as this. They help make sure we run a successful program amidst other everyday demands on my time and abilities.”

Tip 3: Use a good partner to discover high-quality creators 

Godfrey and his team worked with #paid to organize the production of INFINITI’s creator campaign.

The process included working with INFINITI and #paid to identify the right creators for this specific project. From there, they were “drafted into the program, assigned a vehicle, and given photo and video deliverables.” 

Then, everything from communicating with the creators, receiving their deliverables, and approving their work is managed in #paid’s platform.

Partnering with a platform like #paid makes the entire creator process a lot easier for Godfrey and the INFINITI team.

Tip 4: Have a repurposing plan 

For INFINITI’s previous creator campaign, the brand used the video asset for many additional promotion purposes. They shared Palander’s video on digital boards, on plane videos for passengers, banners, and more. 

This time around, INFINITI knew there would be similar opportunities for the assets created from Capture INFINITI. 

Understanding these distribution plans ahead of time can help you coordinate with your creators and make sure you’re planning for the assets you need. 

Lesson 5: Trust your creators to create

Through the Capture INFINITI program, Godfrey says he learned to trust creators even more than he already had in past campaigns: “They have a great vision, they have a great understanding of the audience, and they can help you differentiate in the market.” 

In Godfrey’s opinion, this is useful in an industry where a lot of advertisements look and sound the exact same. Unfortunately, this means a lot of brands get lost in the mix of sameness.

Working with creators, however, allows you to appear different to your audience simply by being able to share an outside perspective.

“They engage with the audience every single day, unlike the rest of us. It's interesting to see somebody who's in that market like social media every day thinking about how to engage people. They end up providing a lot of insight into the final product. Whereas marketers can be removed at times because we're looking at so many macro trends.”

The hard work never ends

Now that Capture INFINITI is launched, we asked Godfrey how he feels about the campaign being done and over with.

His response? Finishing the campaign wasn’t even the best part—it’s the work he got to put into it.

“I feel good. But the end result never feels as good as the production. Every day I’m finding solutions to problems, which is the majority of my job. Because that’s the nature of my job, I don’t feel as elated when it’s over. It’s like, ‘We’re done. Let’s get ready for the next one.’”

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