It doesn’t matter if you’re talking computers, cars or coffee machines: happy owners make the best salespeople. That’s a well-known marketing tactic used by some of the biggest brands in the world.
So it’s no surprise that Japanese automaker Nissan has turned to its existing Nissan LEAF electric car owners to help it encourage more people to dump the pump for good. And it’s doing so with a new interactive digital ad campaign in which real LEAF owners answer some basic questions about life with their electric car.
Called “Nissan LEAF Q&A: Real Owners. Real Answers.” the new micro-site ties in with Nissan’s social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, and provides owner-written answers to some of the more common questions about driving an electric car.
Covering everything from “Why did you choose to drive an electric car?” to more practical questions like “How far can you go on a single charge?” and “Are there any ways to extend your range?,” the site provides would-be buyers with multiple different answers from LEAF owners around the world.
Launched to celebrate the sale of Nissan’s 100,000th LEAF earlier this year, Nissan’s new Microsite even invites would-be drivers to ask new questions direct to Nissan’s specialist LEAF sales team, or ask a question to LEAF owners directly via Facebook.
Naturally, as an ad campaign, you’re only going to find positive experiences about Nissan’s first mass-produced electric car. That’s not to say the majority of LEAF owners feel differently to those who have provided public answers to Nissan’s questions on the site, because in our experiences, most LEAF drivers really do love their car. What we’re reminding you however, is that while this might look like an unbiased FAQ, it is in fact a very cleverly executed piece of digital marketing.
As a consequence, you’ll also see the Nissan-produced video Neal and the Volcano, which shows how it’s possible to drive an electric car to the top of the Volcano in Haleakala National Park in Hawaii and then drive back down again, using regenerative braking to recover some of the energy lost on the way up as you drive down again.
You’ll also see a very public dig at Nissan’s nearest plug-in rival, the Chevrolet Volt, in a presentation decrying the Volt’s ‘hidden tailpipe,’ along with plumes of black smoke.
Bearing that in mind, we think this is a great place to look if you are considering buying a Nissan LEAF as your next car and want some basic questions answered by real owners before moving to the test-drive level. But we’d also recommend you visit the MyNissanLEAF and LEAFTalk forums if you’ve got questions which aren’t answered on the site — or want a truly unedited response.
Oh, and be sure to watch our latest reviews of both the base model and top-spec Nissan LEAFs in our Charged Up web series.
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