The Nissan-made Taxis for Tomorrow commissioned by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg are on the streets of New York and in dealer showrooms. Now, a campaign by TBWA New York asks locals to give a #HailYes to the shiny new rides.
In 2011, Nissan won a competition to become the sole provider of taxis for New York City fleets, a commission estimated to be worth around $1 billion. But the proposal to standardize on a Nissan purpose-designed model was stalled by political and legal opposition, and in October of 2013, a judge ruled that the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission can't require operators to buy a specific vehicle.
Nevertheless, Nissan designed and built the Nissan NV200 with features to make it a better experience for riders and drivers both. In addition to more leg and cargo room, the NV200 taxi includes niceties such as odor-reducing upholstery, USB charging and a transparent roof to let riders ogle the skyline. The $29,700 taxi is now on sale at some Nissan dealerships in the greater New York City area.
"This taxi solves every problem that every taxi had. They kept it yellow, but everything else has been improved," says Rob Schwartz, global creative president, TBWA.
TBWA New York aims to help riders focus on the improvements and spread the word via a multi-channel campaign with the tag of #HailYes. The campaign kicked off during the ING New York City Marathon with street teams handing out promotional items branded with the tag. Today, the campaign expands with promoted and organic posts on Facebook and Twitter, banner ads on websites geotargeted to people in New York, and outdoor advertising on digital screens at Penn Station and Times Square.
The campaign also runs on TaxiTV, New York’s in-taxi broadcast channel, where man-on-the-street type spots will run through the end of the year demonstrating the taxis' features.
"We had every intention of doing something to celebrate what started as the Taxi of Tomorrow," Schwartz says, skirting the question of whether Nissan commissioned the campaign in order to drum up support for the 10-year deal to be finalized before Bloomberg leaves office.
He adds, "Hashtag was born from the feeling that finally somebody was creating a hail-worth taxi. We want people to start saying it and activating it in their own networks."
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Susan Kuchinskas has covered interactive advertising since its invention. The former staff writer for Adweek, Business 2.0, and M-Business covers technology, business and culture from Berkeley, CA.
March 19, 2014