The Work

Nissan LEAF Drive Electric Tour

100% all-electric trailblazing

To make the historic introduction of the first commercially viable, 100% electric car, Nissan looked to GMR to create an automotive marketing experience that would educate consumers while quieting skeptics. The Nissan LEAF was a new kind of car…and a new kind of car required a new kind of launch.

The challenge

Limited production availability would force consumers to put money down to reserve the LEAF long before they could actually drive one. At launch, no American consumer would have driven a Nissan LEAF or, for that matter, any other all-electric vehicle. So, we designed the launch around a platform of amplified educational experience.

The Drive Electric Tour

The ensuing Drive Electric Tour was much more than a traditional ride & drive. GMR conceptualized the 90,000-square-foot event, which traveled to a new market weekly and used recycled and recyclable materials to support Nissan’s sustainability initiative.

Visitors spent an average of almost 60 minutes on-site getting to know the Nissan LEAF through a range of activities:

  • Interactive digital experiences
  • In-depth product education + Q&As
  • Closed-course and on-road driving experiences

The emphasis on education and orientation provided consumers a truly immersive introduction to the Nissan LEAF.


80,000 consumer engagements

Above-target vehicle sales

Improved opinion of brand

An integrated experience

GMR led an integrated agency team to produce the immersive Drive Electric Tour and amplify the Nissan LEAF experience. Digital invitations were distributed prior to each event along with digital tools to share the invitation. Digital marketing, regional media, Nissan LEAF Facebook and Twitter posts promoted each event. Online and social networking amplification built further product awareness—and spread the invitation seeding attendance at future tour stops.

Over two years, 80,000 consumers experienced the Drive Electric Tour, getting up close and personal with the Nissan LEAF’s battery, capabilities, technology and performance.

The impact of the Drive Electric Tour started long before arrival in market, and continued long after departure, gaining plentiful media attention, earning extremely positive consumer feedback, and—the true test of engagement marketing—led directly to above-target vehicle sales and improved opinion of Nissan and the Nissan LEAF.

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