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Nissan finds another gear for search with Multimedia Ads

  Article , Automotive , Success stories

Adding visual impact to the results page experience

Nissan’s logo

Driving for more visual experiences

Auto manufacturers know the value of innovating in pursuit of performance. A new approach can change the game when it comes to pushing a vehicle forward, transforming the experience of potential customers and delivering powerful competitive advantage. The same holds true for auto brands’ marketing campaigns.

When Michele Petrilli, Digital Section Manager at Nissan Italia, first heard about the launch of Microsoft Advertising’s Multimedia Ads, he quickly recognized the potential for a breakthrough. “Multimedia Ads appealed straight away because of the potential for including an image and related copy alongside traditional search ads,” says Michele. “It’s a real opportunity to reinforce Nissan’s messages and unique selling proposition (USP)—both visually and through additional, relevant information.”

It’s an opportunity that’s unique to Microsoft Advertising, and we were excited to see how a new type of visual asset could influence the customer journey.

— Alvise Miurin, Digital Performance Manager at OMD

OMD’s logo

Putting Multimedia Ads performance to the test

Working with media agency OMD, Nissan moved to deploy Multimedia Ads to promote its flagship Qashqai model, setting out to test how a visual experience within the search engine results page (SERP) could accelerate performance across different search campaigns.

“We wanted to see how the ads influenced performance for different types of keywords,” explains Alvise Miurin, Digital Performance Manager at OMD. “The aim was to identify the role that Multimedia Ads could play when bidding on our branded keywords—and compare this to the impact on campaigns targeting generic searches. It’s an opportunity that’s unique to Microsoft Advertising, and we were excited to see how a new type of visual asset could influence the customer journey.”

The shortcut to a 49% performance boost

When it comes to designing new vehicles, breaking new ground takes plenty of extra time and resources. The experience of adopting a new search ad format proved very different. “The experience was really good and user-friendly,” says Alvise. “Once we’d finished the initial set up, it took just a few minutes to insert all the assets and information.”

That minimal initial effort quickly delivered maximum rewards. When Nissan added Multimedia Ads to its branded keyword campaigns, it saw its click-through rate (CTR) for each ad group climb by 34%. When targeting competitive generic keywords, the boost to performance was stronger still, with a 63% CTR increase. Overall, Multimedia Ads delivered a 49% increase in CTR while cutting cost per click (CPC) by 39%.

“It’s not just the Multimedia Ads themselves that drive the performance,” explains Michele. “The biggest increases in CTR that we saw were on the traditional search ads that appear in the same ad groups as the Multimedia Ads. People still engage with the search ads as their action—but the visual impact of Multimedia Ads grabs people’s attention and ensures your search ads stand out.”

It’s a rise in performance that is quickly steering Nissan towards new uses for the format. “The next step is to use them to drive wider awareness of the relevant offers on the website,” says Alvise. “It’s a powerful way of delivering that message to people interested in Nissan’s products.”

People still engage with the search ads as their action—but the visual impact of Multimedia Ads grabs people’s attention and ensures your search ads stand out.

— Michele Petrilli, Digital Section Manager at Nissan Italia

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