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By Kendra Barnett, Associate Editor

June 23, 2021 | 6 min read

After the pandemic forced the automotive world to abandon in-person events in favor of digital-first product launches, Infiniti has today revealed the new QX60 SUV in a longform ad starring Kate Hudson. The brand says the star represents the car’s target buyer: an ambitious and industrious chameleon who seamlessly navigates the many professional and personal responsibilities of their life — and does so in style.

Infiniti, the luxury arm of Japanese automaker Nissan, has today introduced the new QX60 in a cinematic, 10-minute long launch film and a multichannel campaign. “Infiniti presents: Conquer life in style with all-new QX60” sees Golden Globe Award-winning actress Kate Hudson behind the wheel of the brand’s new three-row SUV.

In the launch video, viewers are ushered through a day in Hudson’s busy yet effortlessly harmonized life, where the actress moves seamlessly between professional and personal appointments. “The [inspiration] for ‘Conquer life in style’ came primarily from our target customer,” says Phil York, the brand’s general manager of global brand and marketing. “Life is a beautiful mess — constantly juggling priorities, constantly on the go. The all-new Infiniti QX60 is for any person who embraces the chaos life throws at them.”

York says the message is especially pertinent now, considering the ways in which consumers have had to adapt in response to the many challenges of the pandemic. “The number of roles we have all had to play in the last year has grown immensely,” he says. “We are looking to connect with those who embrace that multifaceted life and power through the chaos with grace. We have built the SUV their busy life requires with a serene interior, stylish exterior, and intuitive technology, to help them conquer life in style. We hope that our target customers relate to that message and feel connected to us as a brand they can trust.”

Hudson was the ideal face of the new campaign, according to York, due to her success in various endeavors. Not only is Hudson considered a Hollywood star, she’s also a producer, author and entrepreneur. Notably, Hudson is the co-founder of popular athleisure brand Fabletics. The starlet also launched her own vodka label, King St. Vodka, in late 2019.

“The multifaceted Kate Hudson embodies our busy, complex, target customer,” says York. Like Hudson, Infiniti says its target customers for the new three-row SUV are successful and multidimensional. The brand’s internal research suggests that more than nine-in-10 of its target buyers hold professional leadership roles, more than six in-10-are actively involved in teaching their children and overall, they are four times as likely to be involved in philanthropy than the average consumer.

Shifting into the next sales gear

The launch aims to also support the brand’s financial recovery after suffering significant sales losses during the pandemic. In fiscal year 2020, Nissan’s consolidated net revenue fell by just over $71b — a 20.4% decline from 2019’s $89.3b in revenue. Despite the dip, the company saw a notable sales lift in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter. In a release put out in early May, Nissan said it is also focusing on reducing inventory and improving sales incentives. Paired with new product launches like today’s debut of the QX60, such initiatives could help the company accelerate its recovery.

Today’s QX60 launch will be done completely digitally; the campaign’s hero film debuts online and across social channels. The move represents a departure from traditional approaches to new automotive launches, which are traditionally done at in-person events.

The team hopes these direct lines of communication will help reach consumers who may not usually tune into new automotive reveals, which are traditionally done at in-person events. “Last year we drew a lot of learnings from the shift to digital reveals,” says York. “Instead of waiting to speak to customers at start of sale, we can now engage directly and build that conversation from the moment our products are revealed for the first time. Specifically, with the QX55, we learned that we can reach a very large audience and build momentum into a crescendo — from awareness to reservation program to launch campaign — in a way that is more effective and efficient than traditional launches.”

A cinematic debut

“Conquer life in style” was brought to life by Publicis Q, a branch of the expansive Publicis Groupe created specially for Infiniti earlier this year. The new spot represents the agency’s first major project for the automobile brand.

“Architecting a global vehicle reveal experience worthy of this particular moment’s significance was the first major milestone not only for our partnership, but for a new era for Infiniti,” says Jean-Guy Saulou, global client lead at Publicis Q. “Status quo was never an option, and we knew from the beginning that the reveal moment needed to flip the spinning-pedestal-on-a-glossy-stage trope on its head. The magic of the QX60 doesn’t happen in a showroom; it’s in the comfort and versatility it brings to the lives of busy consumers navigating a life of complex needs. That needed to come through in the reveal moment, and it’s how we landed on producing a highly self-aware short film featuring Kate Hudson as the embodiment of our multidimensional target customer.”

Infiniti SUV

The film was directed by Zack Snyder, known for producing and directing blockbuster superhero and action films including Wonder Woman 1984, Justice League, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and 300: Rise of an Empire. “This was a very ambitious project with a lot of complexities and constraints,” York notes. “This is also a much bigger project than a standard 30-second ad. Making a ten-minute branded short film with a car that cannot be driven on public roads, [on] a very tight timescale, required a highly skilled director.” In particular, York points to Snyder’s special effects skills and “expertise bringing complicated stories to life” as key reasons for his appointment on the project.

“Conquer life in style” debuts today with the QX60 launch film, but will play out over the course of the coming months with a follow-up launch campaign debuting this autumn. “We are embarking on a new era for Infiniti with a new clarity of purpose for our brand, reconnecting with our roots as a Japanese luxury brand,” York says. “With the all-new QX55 and the all-new QX60 arriving in dealerships there is a tremendous positive energy surrounding the brand.”

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