Nissan Leaf – the ‘World’s Cheapest Taxi Rank’ (… which Tweets, Too!)

The notion that climate change/ sustainability presents a big opportunity is old news. The science is there – the world IS falling apart. The debate has been had… and had… and had again. The moral imperative is now. So, the conversations are maturing and are no longer just examples of the world falling apart. We have finally moved on  to being a slightly more optimistic bunch focussing on the good things we can achieve and are doing… like London witnessing a taxi rank with a difference!

In order to promote Nissan’s first 100% electric car, AKQA concepted a different type of idea to the norm, but one which everybody would respond to: the World’s ‘Cheapest Taxi Rank’. An electric Nissan LEAF is six times more efficient than a petrol car, meaning it’s six times cheaper. So over a weekend in June, scores of passengers were treated to incredibly cheap ‘taxi’ rides in the zero-emission car and all which was required was to Tweet your destination, followed by #6XCHEAPER.

AKQA are stating a purpose here. This is a comfortable play to sell the product in a unique way. They are not selling the benefits of the car as a superior vehicle per se. They are selling its purpose as a superior companion to your wallet by showing its value as a taxi. It is a minimalist approach which challenges the consumer to think a bit but is so emotionally on point, that is really makes it work. It maintains all the relevant data and hits you right where you listen: your pocket. Basically – if you buy a LEAF, you will save a lot of money.

Obviously tomorrow everybody is not going to be going round in a Nissan Leaf just because of this, but that can, and likely will, change over time… and that is why, with this play, we believe this is the start of a picture bigger, a wider strategy and a more complete thought between Nissan and AKQA. They are almost laying a realistic roadmap for long term consumer adoption of EV vehicles. This might be a long roadmap they are embarking on, but a journey worth taking.

This idea is so bold and so simple; and the idea of electric taxis is actually something which could take off immediately. Although the entire population of London black cab drivers could get nasty!! In spite of this however, there is just so much good going on. In addition to raising its profile, the activity is also being used to gather consumer insight to inform Nissan in their research on a potential ‘taxi of the future’… with Nissan already confirmed as the exclusive supplier of the next New York yellow cab… in case you didn’t know that!! We imagine in another follow on to Back to the Future, people would be ‘catching a leaf’ instead of a cab.

And plus, not only does the idea hit this richer vein of showcasing Nissan’ as the undisputed leader of electric innovation, but the idea succeeded in getting Nissan to reach their ambitious target to get ‘one million consumers switched on to electric driving in just 100 days. They did it 18 days ahead of the original target.

We can’t commend this enough. This is an incredible initiative which comes from having a much deeper view of what’s happening… brought to the forefront of everybody’s mind through really smart execution from AKQA to celebrate something which is happening in quite an obvious and simple way. They made it social. The ad is simple. The act is memorable. It is great advertising.

The biggest test of vision is how they attack this next and keep this up, but we are already intrigued to find out.

For anyone interested in this topic in general and wanting to deep dive a bit further, there are some brilliant pockets of best practice and particular examples out there which we would be happy to share and discuss (Co-op, M&S, Unilever), but start first here with Droga5’s work for Vestas. GAME CHANGING!




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