Nissan pranks athletes at kitting out ceremony ahead of Rio Olympics start

Nissan has marked the official start of the Rio 2016 Olympics with a tongue in cheek campaign ostensibly intended to encourage Team GB and Paralympics GB athletes to help promote the Nissan Leaf.

Recruiting two actors to play the role of executives, the official automotive partner of the British team filmed the reaction of medal hopefuls to a series of bizarre requests such as asking one athlete whether they could imitate the Leaf’s start up sound when preparing for the athletics.

Other athletes were encouraged to use their arms to form an N for Nissan sign inspired by Mo Farrah’s ‘Mobot’ victory sweep whilst others were quizzed on whether they would be willing to ‘steer’ around the running track in the manner of a car.

The campaign was created and produced by Red Bee with Fuse Sport + Entertainment with victims including heptathlon hopeful Katarina Johnson-Thompson and 100m star Richard Whitehead MBE.

Jim Wright, managing director of Nissan Motor in Great Britain Ltd, added: “Nissan is incredibly proud of its work with the BOA and BPA, and in the build up to Rio 2016 we have been dedicated to bringing the British public closer to the team, in an exciting and playful way. All of the athletes involved in the filming proved what great sports they are and we wish them the very best of luck during the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games”.

Reactions to these suggestions range from amusement to panic and befuddlement and all were caught on hidden camera during the kitting out ceremony stunt in Birmingham.

the media strategy, planning and buying were handled by Manning Gottlieb OMD

To view more marketing insights into Rio 2016 visit The Drum’s Olympics hub here.

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