A Rogue by any Other Name

Talk about your tangled web of deception…

So I receive my morning copy of MediaPost’s Online Media Daily. The lead story is “Nissan’s Agency Details Online Branding Success” . The story is written by Laurie Sullivan. Here is the e-newsletter teaser:

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Nissan has been experimenting in digital advertising and promotions for years, according to Kristi Vandenbosch, president at Tequila USA, one of the automaker’s ad agencies. Vandenbosch kicked off the OMMA Global Hollywood conference on Tuesday with a case study of the Nissan Rogue campaign as well as the launch of the Nissan 370Z, which had practically a zero budget.

Really? Practically zero? How come I doubted that very, very seriously?

So I link to the full story. Guess what? No freaking explanation about the budget. Shocking, right? Keep in mind that the headline says: Nissan Agency DETAILS Online Branding Success. So where are the details of the zero budget? Because in this economy, we all want to know what you can do with zero budget.

They created a SERIES of viral videos and a video game (working with Electronic Arts) and somehow it involved sponsorship for Heroes (the TV show). All of which – apparently – required a “zero budget”.

But wait, there’s more:

Nissan and Tequila worked with Electronic Arts to unveil the car in a video game. They also produced a series of episodic videos that were the backstory of one of the characters in the game. Six films were distributed on Nissan.com and other channels such as YouTube.

Tequila also took the Z car on tour across the country, stopping at car clubs along the way to allow them to experience the new 370Z for the first time. A deal with Sports Illustrated put the car in the magazine for pittance. The videos have been seen more than 800,000 times in the last few weeks. Apps for Apple’s iPhone also aimed to lure gamers to the car.


According to Merriam-Webster, a rogue is “a dishonest or worthless person [scoundrel].” Well, at least that part of the story rings true.

Jim Sweeney


Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.