Nissan and TikTok Now take on March Madness – Smooth Marketing Move!

Published: March 06, 2023

min read

Nissan is introducing the new TikTok feature – the TikTok Now – into its campaign for the NCAA’s March Madness Basketball tournaments. Nissan comes back as the official sponsor of the NCAA’s March Madness this year again, with its all new Nissan Ariya as the official EV.

Nissan is doing it’s “Road 2 the Final Four” again this year for the NCAA’s March Madness. Six commercials are central to this campaign and will feature several Nissan’s vehicles, including the Ariya, Rogue and Altima. The commercials will star 16 well-known team mascots, former players Candace Parker and Kenny Smith and current University of South Carolina Head Coach Lindsay Gottlieb.

Nissan’s campaign has a first-of-its-kind tie-up with TikTok Now – a feature that is very similar to BeReal, a hugely popular French social media app. According to the Influencer Marketing Hub, in 2022, more than 40 million people downloaded the app, including nearly 15 million in September alone.

The app asks users to post unfiltered photos of themselves once a day – encouraging them to be more real and authentic, instead of trying to present their best versions which are usually touched up or through filters.

TikTok Now is very similar – it asks TikTok users at some random time every day to take a photo or video of whatever they’re doing at the time, using both the back and front cameras of their phone.

Now right through the NCAA March Madness games, TikTok will send its highly-timed daily prompts during “key moments” of March Madness. Those who upload photos or short videos at this time to Instagram in response to those ‘Now’ prompts, will have a chance to win tickets to the Final Four of next year’s tournament.

This has never been done before, although Nissan has included TikTok as an important part of its social media strategy. Nissan did a TikTok-first campaign during the launch of its EV, Nissan Ariya.

Nissan will begin airing the March Madness ads on March 10.

Take a leaf out of Nissan’s Book

College games are very popular – the NCAA March Madness tournaments are almost as popular as Super Bowl. With so much attention on the games, the players, the coaches and all the fun, Nissan was smart to jump in on the action and sponsor the event. That translates to prime real estate for all the commercials – taking Nissan right where the action is.

Smart move, if you asked me.

And then Nissan goes a step further. For most fans, the stars of the game are on the field – they can watch them in action on the courts (if they were lucky enough to snag tickets) or watch them on TV. Nissan gives all the March Madness fans the opportunity to see some of their favorites up close and personal: off the courts and whizzing past, having a whole lot of fun, on “The Road 2 the Final Four.”

This way, fans are going to watch the commercials too! Not use the time for a bathroom break or to check work email.

Very smart!

Then Nissan steps it up. It introduces TikTok Now. And ties it up with a contest! Sheer genius!

They’ve got the prime time slots. They have the stars in their spots. And they have a contest. Talk about a great way to keep the attention of everyone that’s watching on the game and its greats. And very unobtrusively, on Nissan!

This last move is not for the slightly older crowd. I mean older than Gen Z.

Because Gen Z is a whole different ball game!

Gen Z likes to keep things real. And Nissan follows suit. No forced stuffing of commercials with different themes into this adrenalin pumping, frenzied energy-filled space. Keeping it all cohesive.

And more importantly, keeping it digital. Because that is the way Gen Z watches sports. Not on a playing field - but digitally. It has been reported that YouTube, Instagram and TikTok are Gen Z’s most popular sources of sports news. And nearly half of them have never watched a live game. 2 out of 5 don’t have a favorite team!

But they like TikTok and they love BeReal. So by bringing in TikTok Now, and throwing in a contest that is all about keeping it real and authentic, Nissan is sure to get the attention of Gen Z as well.

Smart moves all the way, Nissan!


Jasmine Jackson

Jasmine is a social media maven with a talent for building engaged communities. She's a natural storyteller and has a way of making complex ideas accessible to everyone. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, and exploring new cuisines.


Be the first one to comment.

Follow Us

Related Articles

Recent posts

The subscriber's email address.