For the first time since 1997, Nissan is joining in on the fun of advertising at the Super Bowl after announcing that it had bought a 60-second spot during Super Bowl XLIX, which is set to air February 1, 2015 on NBC. The automaker announced that the return to major events like the Super Bowl is tied into its “Big Moments” marketing strategy. Considering that the company is right in the middle of its best sales year ever in the US, the timing behind its return to the Super Bowl does make a lot of sense.

The company hasn’t announced what kind of commercial it plans to unveil during the game, but multiple reports have tied Nissan’s 60-second spot with Los Angeles-based advertising agency TBWA/Chiat/Day.

Nissan’s return to the Super Bowl also comes at a time when a handful of auto companies traditionally involved during the game are holding on to their advertising budgets. While Toyota and Mercedes have already bought time slots during the game, Jaguar and Lincoln has announced that it’s not getting involved this year after being prominently featured during Super Bowl XLVIII. Even Volkswagen, which has dominated the Super Bowl narrative in the past four years with hit ads like “The Force” is sitting out this year.

The timing of these absences is a boon to Nissan as it seeks to continue the momentum generated by its “Big Moments” campaign. Don’t be surprised if its ad focuses on some of its new models, including the 2015 Murano, which is set to be launched later in the year.

What’s clear is that Nissan wants to use events like the Super Bowl to promote its new products in one of the biggest television audiences throughout the year. It might have been a while since Nissan last appeared during the Super Bowl, but none of that will matter now that the company has booked its return ticket to the game.

Click past the jump to read more about Nissan’s return to Super Bowl.

Why it matters

Advertising during the Super Bowl doesn’t come cheap. In fact, a 30-second commercial during Super Bowl XLVII and Super Bowl XLVIII reportedly cost $4 million. There’s no telling how much a similar spot will cost in Super Bowl XLIX, but don’t expect it to be anything less than the past few years. Spending that much money doesn’t make any sense if Nissan is advertising at the game just for the sheer fun of it.

There’s a reason the company is willing to pay that much scratch to have a spot during the game. It all ties into how strong the company’s sales figures have been in 2014 and its attempt to roll that momentum into the next year. Having an ad during the Super Bowl will go a long way in further establishing Nissan’s sales push in the country, possibly even the entire world. Nissan’s also planning to have a big presence in other sporting events, including the NCAA College Playoffs and the NFL Playoffs, both of which will happen well before the Super Bowl.

We’re all waiting earnestly to see what Nissan’s plans are during the Super Bowl. If the company has the time to release a full-blown press release to commemorate its return to the big game, we can at least expect something noteworthy when the commercial makes its debut during the big game.

Nissan’s Super Bowl XXXI Ad

Press Release

Nissan today announced that it will join the starting lineup of advertisers for NBC’s broadcast of Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015. Nissan last aired a Super Bowl commercial in 1997. The return to major events such as the Super Bowl is part of Nissan’s "Big Moments" marketing strategy – an approach that has helped drive Nissan’s current sales and brand awareness growth.

"This is a great time for Nissan to make a big brand statement in front of one of the largest global audiences of the year," said Fred Diaz, senior vice president, Nissan Sales & Marketing and Operations U.S., Nissan North America, Inc. "Nissan is on pace for its best sales year ever in the United States – and that’s with five weeks still to go in 2014. We’re not about to let up on the accelerator now, or in 2015, with the upcoming launches of the all-new 2015 Nissan Murano crossover and several other critical new vehicles."

Nissan’s sales growth so far in 2014 is more than double the automotive industry average, with the recent introductions of new models such as the Rogue, Sentra, Pathfinder and Altima leading the way. The Nissan LEAF – the world’s best-selling electric vehicle – is also setting all-time sales records for electric vehicles. And, Nissan has been named the most fuel-efficient full-line brand in America by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In addition, Nissan was recently named one of Interbrand’s "Top Global Brands 2014," as well as Interbrand’s "#4 Best Global Green Brands." Nissan was also recently ranked as the most fuel-efficient full-line car company in America according to the 2014 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) "Trends" Report.

"Our approach of using fewer yet bigger moments is already paying off," explained Diaz. "Along with returning to Super Bowl XLIX, Nissan will have a major presence in the NCAA College Playoffs – a natural extension of our popular Heisman House campaign – and the NFL Playoffs. And, we’ve expanded our multimedia engagement with NBC’s ’The Voice,’ as well as our continuing with our fourth season of Nissan’s robust virtual-to-reality motorsport program, GT Academy, airing on SPIKE TV, MTV2 and Hulu."

Earlier this month, Nissan – the exclusive automotive sponsor for the next three seasons of the Emmy Award-winning "The Voice" – announced a new partnership with Adam Levine, lead singer of Maroon 5 and "The Voice" coach. New program elements include a series of on-air vignettes featuring Levine and several season-seven contestants in video segments.

"Consumers are going to be hearing a lot about Nissan, and our bold new models like Murano, throughout the next few months building up to Feb. 1," said Diaz. "We’re going big, and there’s no bigger moment than the Super Bowl."

Details about Nissan’s Super Bowl commercial and integrated social media elements will be announced closer to the game.

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