The best way to evaluate a new car before you buy it is to test drive it. All of the specs and reviews in the world cannot communicate how a car suits you as well as a few minutes behind the wheel. Interesting, then, that according to Nissan, the average buyer spends twice as much time researching new cars online than they do at dealers.

To market its new 2014 Rogue, Nissan has launched an online marketing experience aimed at bridging that gap. Called The Detour, it combines Google Street View and Google Maps to give you a custom-tailored virtual test drive. The neat, uniquely interactive part about Detour is that it allows you to specify a starting and ending location. Thus, you can use the microsite to 'show' the Rogue on your commute, or your favorite stretch of tarmac. To spice things up, Nissan has added some digital effects and set the experience to a song by British rapper M.I.A.

Detour seems to work better on shorter journeys, because it snips out some portions of the route in order to keep the experience from running too long. If you're going to try it out, we suggest using a crosstown journey rather than going cross country. Scroll down to get all of the details on the Rogue's latest marketing campaign, or click here to try it out for yourself.
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Nissan Takes 2014 Rogue Shoppers on Cinematic "Detour" with New Google Maps-Based Virtual Test Drive
Feb. 4, 2014
– New Online Campaign Shows How Nissan Rogue Makes Every Drive More Exciting –

NASHVILLE – Nissan today launched "The Detour," an exciting virtual driving adventure in support of the ongoing rollout of the all-new 2014 Nissan Rogue compact SUV. Available now at nissanusa.com/the-detour, The Detour utilizes Google® Street View, Google® Maps and Google® Satellite API – along with Hollywood-style digital effects and a soundtrack from recording artist M.I.A. – to create a custom test drive experience starting from anywhere around the world.

"Recent studies show that new car buyers today spend nearly twice as much time researching their purchases online than at dealerships – more clicking than kicking the tires, so to speak. So why not bring the two together with an informative and enjoyable test drive in buyers' own neighborhoods?" said Jon Brancheau, vice president, Nissan Marketing Communications & Media, Nissan North America, Inc. "The new Rogue is off to an amazing start since it was introduced last fall and we expect The Detour to direct a lot of traffic from the website straight to local Nissan dealerships."

The Detour was created by Critical Mass, Nissan's lead digital agency, and brings together software from Google®, the talents of Academy Award-winning director of photography Guillermo Navarro, digital production and creative technology from Unit9, and digital effects from Digital Domain/Mothership, an Academy Award-winning digital production company. Together, the partners solved the tricky technical challenges of rendering a photo-real vehicle in real-time as commuters travel their personalized routes and more. The virtual test drive's soundtrack, worthy of a blockbuster trailer, features M.I.A.'s new single "YALA," which is available for download on NissanUSA.com.

Critical Mass Executive Creative Director Steve Savic explained, "Since driving the new Nissan Rogue is so exciting, we put people in the action by allowing them to take a drive on their very own street. But we couldn't shoot the car on every road in the world, so we turned to Google® Street View to give us our set. Working on 'The Detour' was like creating an action scene on the most unconventional location ever."

Optimized for desktops, tablets and smartphones, the virtual test drivers start their cinematic action-adventure by entering their point of origin and destination address or using their current location from the browser settings.

From the driveway to the interstate highways, there are an infinite number of journeys to experience from the driver's seat of the Rogue. At the end of each drive, users can find their local dealership and schedule a test drive, download the soundtrack on NissanUSA.com, or invite people to try it out by sharing the site and using the hashtag #TakeTheDetour.

For tablet and smartphone users, one swipe of the finger launches the Rogue into mid-air, all based on the user's current location. To explore further, the site offers some pre-programmed routes around familiar U.S. destinations such as Chicago, Seattle, New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and South Florida.

The Detour experience will be supplemented by an online media buy, including homepage takeovers on MSN and Yahoo! and promotion on Nissan's social media channels.

About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.InfinitiUSA.com, or visit the Americas media sites NissanNews.com and InfinitiNews.com.

About Nissan
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 236,000 employees globally, Nissan sold more than 4.9 million vehicles and generated revenue of 9.6 trillion yen (USD 116.16 billion) in fiscal 2012. Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of over 60 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. In 2010, Nissan introduced the Nissan LEAF, and continues to lead in zero-emission mobility. The LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle launched globally, is now the best-selling EV in history.

For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.

About Critical Mass
Critical Mass is a global digital agency that helps clients deliver a cumulative customer experience across messages, devices, touchpoints, and time. Founded in 1996, Critical Mass has 8 full-service offices, operating across North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Critical Mass is a part of Diversified Agency Services, a division of Omnicom Group Inc.

About Diversified Agency Services
Diversified Agency Services (DAS), a division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE:OMC) (www.omnicomgroup.com), manages Omnicom's holdings in a variety of marketing communications disciplines. DAS includes over 200 companies, which operate through a combination of networks and regional organizations, serving international and local clients through more than 700 offices in 71 countries.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 2 Comments
      Jenna Taileah
      • 10 Months Ago
      The musical artist M.I.A hails from Sri Lanka, not Britain.
      flychinook
      • 10 Months Ago
      " Interesting, then, that according to Nissan, the average buyer spends twice as much time researching new cars online than they do at dealers." Well duh. While a test drive is is very important, it doesn't take all that long (and depending on your dealership, could be time-limited). Any extra time spent at the dealership is just going to be browsing through overly-optimistic sales brochures, getting pressured by salespeople, and drinking bad coffee. Do the research at home, limit your choices down to a few vehicles, then hit the pavement.