Client Challenge: What happens when martial law is declared just ahead of your major event? It happened to PRISM's global event team in 2014, when Nissan asked PRISM to produce the global reveal of its next-generation compact pickup truck in Bangkok.
The capital of Thailand, central to the new Nissan pickup's creation, was being rocked by political protests. Nissan, celebrating 80 years in the pickup business, had invested 11 billion Baht ($339 million) to expand its Thailand manufacturing operation to build the all-new NP300 Navara. Nissan would need to be ready to reveal the truck just ahead of volume production, June 2014. Nissan's objective was to launch the pickup for global markets - 180 in all - and use it as the catalyst for a major push in Thailand.
PRISM Solution: PRISM's global events team and Global Content Network teamed to create an ambitious visual experience for the media event which would reveal the new pickup to the world.
The event would transform a giant exhibition hall on the 23rd floor of a hotel and retail complex in central Bangkok into a brand experience for Nissan and its planned 200 media attendees from Thailand and international locations.
Using larger-than-life wall graphics and event architecture, PRISM created a multi-zone event that created "surprise and inform" moments for the news media. The first zone featured a 14-metre timeline of Nissan's pickup history along with historic vehicles from the company's collection.
The guests were then led into a larger space where the pickup would be revealed. Behind this, there was yet more substance, with technical exhibits and subject matter experts ready to tell journalists more about the new vehicle.
The timing of the event, dictated by the plant production readiness, gave PRISM and its local production team huge challenges. Tonnes of production materials, lights, sound and projection equipment would need to be transported by lift to facilitate the event build.
Adjacent events dictated round-the-clock working for the production team. The build and subsequent technical and presenter rehearsals were timed with precision.
How did all this happen during martial law and strict curfew conditions? PRISM and its local production team worked with Nissan to monitor the situation daily. After close consultation with Thai authorities, it was decided to proceed, and PRISM negotiated special permissions to allow transporters and production personnel to work round the clock.
Results: While some international media did not travel to Thailand, media attendance at the event nearly doubled expectations, creating a very strong media buzz for the new NP300 Navara. Following the media reveal to nearly 400 journalists, the event was staged again for Nissan Thailand employees and fleet customers, respectively. The event was described by Nissan's Chief Planning Officer as creating a new benchmark.
The event, held amidst political uncertainty, underscored Nissan's commitment to Thailand. Successfully launching NP300 Navara created a momentum which would propel Nissan's pickup sales in Thailand up 62% in the month of August, while competitors' sales shrunk. (Source Thai Auto 2014)