Nissan North America Inc. (NNA) will dramatically expand its Web advertising initiatives across online properties of Microsoft Corp., the two companies announced today. This expanded alliance will enable Nissan to more powerfully engage with consumers across multiple digital touch points throughout Microsoft® Digital Advertising Solutions including MSN®, Windows Live™, Live Search, Xbox® and Windows Mobile®. Furthermore, this new alliance allows Nissan to work directly with Microsoft content developers, strategists and subject matters experts to help Nissan reach its target consumers.
The first part is a good old fashioned advertising deal, but what about the second part? What would you say if your favorite newspaper or magazine proudly announced that their “content developers, strategists and subject matters experts” were going to “work directly” with a major advertiser?
Key parts of this alliance will include sponsorship of the “Forza Motorsport™ 2” console game on Xbox 360® and global tournament on Xbox Live, a co-branded “blogazine” for Infiniti on MSN called “Open for Design” (http://openfordesign.msn.com), search advertising with Microsoft adCenter, behavioral targeting, and participation in pilot advertising programs within Windows Mobile and Microsoft Office Live. Central to the alliance is a customized regional dealer strategy that involves the embedding of Nissan and Infiniti dealerships into Live Local Search mapping technology and geo-targeted advertising for dealerships.
If that’s all it is, then it’s pretty innocuous except for the “blogazine” which at least is co-branded. Actually, clicking through to the site reveals that it has very little to do with automobiles and aside from a “Curated by Infiniti” logo, very little advertising. Probably very little traffic either, but that’s a different problem.