Nissan is launching a new ad contest that challenges social media users to a track down a stolen Altima, using clues found sprinkled throughout the automaker’s various media channels. One lucky sleuth will walk away with the grand prize – a brand new 2015 Altima – while those who participate will be eligible to win cash and Altima-inspired gear.

The new contest piggybacks off last year’s “Ride of your Life” campaign, which saw four-door Altima street cars fitted in race guise to trick unsuspecting riders into believing the stock car’s performance was on the same level as a dedicated track machine. 

This year’s campaign, dubbed “The Altima Chase,” is a “social media scavenger hunt” that puts participants on the trail of the fictitious “Mastermind,” who has stolen and hidden the sedan, prompting an investigation into Nissan’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. You can can follow the action using #AltimaChaseSweeps or visiting the official website.

The contest began May 11th, and will run for three weeks until June 1st, so if you’re interested, get out that digital magnifying glass and start poking around. 

“The Altima ‘Ride of Your Life’ campaign has once again sparked interest and excitement among consumers nationwide, and ‘The Altima Chase’ takes this year’s campaign to the next level,” said Jeremy Tucker, vice president, Marketing Communications and Media. “The Chase is designed to drive online engagement, while emphasizing the Altima’s blend of performance, innovative technology and superior fuel economy that consistently helps give our drivers the ride of their lives.”

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

Once again, we see just how critical social media has become to the marketing efforts of carmakers. Other notable examples include a recent sweepstakes from Porsche, which marked the accumulation of 10 million Facebook fans with an online contest to win a 1,000-km (621-mile) road trip in a 918 Spyder. The hybrid was wrapped in a special material and fans were encouraged to sign the car at its various stops throughout the trip.

Now, I enjoy puzzles and mysteries as much as the next guy, but I can’t help but wish Nissan had instead opted to do something like what Ford did with the EcoBoost challenge.

Or there’s Chevy’s “Hidden Gems” campaign, which promoted the 2015 Trax through the exploration of obscure venues strewn across several major U.S. cities.

Now, I enjoy puzzles and mysteries as much as the next guy, but I can’t help but wish Nissan had instead opted to do something like what Ford did with the EcoBoost challenge. Instead of an online scavenger hunt, the blue oval went out into real life with a 17-city tour that offered interested buyers specially crafted test drives highlighting each vehicle’s strengths, such as a “Street Drive” for the Fusion’s various driver aides technology and an autocross-esque “Reaction Time” course for the handling of the Focus ST.

There was even a “ShiftPhobia” boot camp to teach the unskilled how to work a manual transmission. Not only was it free, but each participant was also entered for a chance to win a $45,000 2015 Edge.

Nissan’s Chase campaign may raise visibility, but when it comes to selling cars, I prefer Ford’s hands-on approach.

Nissan Altima

2014 - 2015 Nissan Altima High Resolution Exterior
- image 546915

The Nissan Altima has been around since 1992, and is currently in its fifth generation. Facing stiff competition from the likes of the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, Nissan updated its mid-size, four-door last year with an eight-way adjustable power driver’s seat, intelligent climate control, navigation and mobile apps, blind spot warning, moving object detection, and lane departure warning.

Engine options include a 2.5-liter four-cylinder producing 182 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque, and a 3.5-liter V-6 with 270 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque. Pricing starts at $22,300, or you could get one for free if you find the Mastermind.

Read our full review here.

Press Release

Following the success of last year’s "Ride of Your Life" campaign, Nissan is bringing back the fun for a second year – with a twist. Today, Nissan announces the start of "The Altima Chase," an interactive social media scavenger hunt that takes the "Ride of your Life" campaign to a whole new level.

Nissan launches "The Altima Chase" - Or Your Chance To Win A New Altima
- image 629787

Recently, mall patrons were invited to take part in the live "Ride of your Life" campaign, and prompted to "unlock" the Altima from a glass box in which it was secured. Those lucky enough to "unlock" the vault were quickly swept away to experience the sedan on a racetrack. The social media scavenger hunt begins when a fictitious jealous fan, known as the Mastermind, breaks in and steals the Altima, which marks the start of "The Altima Chase."

"The Altima Chase" begins with a video from the Mastermind taunting Nissan’s social media fans to track down the car via a number of clues on social media. Over the next three weeks, fans will have to follow along closely for each clue to discover where the Mastermind has hidden the Altima. By solving the clues - and with a little bit of luck - one fan will walk away with the ultimate getaway car, a 2015 Nissan Altima. Those who partake in the interactive scavenger hunt are also eligible to win Altima-inspired gear and cash prizes.

"The Altima ’Ride of Your Life’ campaign has once again sparked interest and excitement among consumers nationwide, and ’The Altima Chase’ takes this year’s campaign to the next level," said Jeremy Tucker, vice president, Marketing Communications and Media. "The Chase is designed to drive online engagement, while emphasizing the Altima’s blend of performance, innovative technology and superior fuel economy that consistently helps give our drivers the ride of their lives."

Nissan launches "The Altima Chase" - Or Your Chance To Win A New Altima
- image 629786

The social media element of the "Ride of your Life" campaign begins May 11, running through the end of the month. Fans can solve clues on Nissan’s social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by following along via the hashtag #AltimaChaseSweeps or visiting AltimaChase.ChooseNissan.com.

The "Ride of your Life" campaign includes :30 and :15 national and cable broadcast spots and a range of digital executions in English and in Spanish. In conjunction with Nissan’s ongoing partnership with NBC’s "The Voice," a special "Ride of Your Life" tie-in features interviews with "The Voice" contestants in 11 major media markets.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: