TBWA's Latest Work for Nissan and Wrangler Is 'Not Designed for the Masses'

A new iPhone app from Wrangler and an iPad ad created for Nissan showcases TBWA’s latest work aimed at generating short- and long-term brand affinity in the mobile environment. TBWA\G1 out of Paris created an iPad ad running in The Economist that somehow tricks readers into virtually scratching a Nissan 370Z; while TBWA’s Hong Kong office took on a much deeper effort with Wrangler Mileage, a mobile app that encourages users to discover the world around them as they create a personal map of their adventures.

The ad targeting affluent readers of The Economist on iPads introduces Nissan’s new self-healing paint in an ad that displays between articles. But when readers instinctively try to swipe the ad away and continue reading, a series of scratches appear on the car instead before disappearing in a matter of seconds. Nissan claims to be the “first in the auto industry to bring this unique invention to life,” and the ad is now running across Europe featuring Nissan’s more high-end vehicles.

“I expect people to be surprised and delighted with this. The nature of touch screen and browsing on an iPad is such that there’s no way you can be prepared for this, unless of course you’ve seen the ad before,” notes Rudi Anggono, Pan-European creative director at TBWA\G1. “We are trying to reach the affluent tech seekers,” Anggono continues, adding that the majority of Nissan’s target audience for this campaign owns and actively uses iPads. “It’s a simple matter of fish where the fish are,” he explains.

Branded as the “companion for the open road” by Wrangler Asia Pacific, the Wrangler Mileage app tries to reverse the effects social media has on self-discovery. The app runs in the background, filling in sections of a world map as users explore new areas and respond to encouraging suggestions from the app like going for a walk at night during a full moon.

“Wrangler believes in living life like an open road. Making instinctive decisions, constantly challenging one’s self to discover new opportunities, being adventurous, and always moving. Wrangler’s brand promise is to be your companion for the open road and to find your edge,” notes Luke Eid, head of TBWA’s Digital Arts Network (DAN). “The app is designed to extend this brand belief through the use of mobile and technology to recognize when people are being adventurous and to continually encourage people to keep moving and discovering new things and places as they journey through life.”

The app is primarily designed for Asian markets, where the concept of living life like an open road is less familiar, Eid explains. Because Wrangler and TBWA are positioning the app as a long-term brand platform instead of a one-hit campaign, the teams are working against an extensive roadmap for future updates and expansion to other platforms beginning with Android, Eid tells ClickZ.

“The ultimate objective for this app is to inspire people to go out and discover for themselves, and to feel the sense of reward when discovering new things,” he adds. “Our goal is to encourage people to uncover places on their map they have never been before.”

The app recognizes each user’s level of discovery with a personalized mileage score, badges, informative graphics, and each user’s own map of the world. The brand also plans to introduce physical rewards such as Wrangler products. In the meantime, users can unlock the Werewolf badge by moving through a certain number of grids at night during a full moon, the Nocturnal badge after exploring over a period of consecutive nights, the Big Blue badge when users are surrounded by water, and more self-explanatory badges like the Desert Wanderer and City Wrangler.

“The app is designed to educate and encourage adventure whilst at the same time positioning Wrangler as the more progressive and adventurous brand designed to attract people who love making their own decisions and are motivated by their own self-discovery and not following what is considered the mainstream cool,” Eid continues. “The app is not designed for the masses.”

A team of about a dozen creatives at TBWA and DAN spent almost six months taking the idea for Wrangler Mileage from conception to its first launch on iOS.

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