By Barry Janoff
September 4, 2015: With the college football season underway, Nissan North America has rolled out what has become a staple in activation over the past several years: the Nissan Heisman House, supported by a multi-level campaign in conduction with ESPN.
Now in its fifth year, the Nissan Heisman House efforts brings together 14 Heisman Trophy winners in 20 TV and online humorous commercials — five 45-second spots and five 15-second spots — which will roll out throughout the college football season and then during the playoffs.
The platform also includes print, radio a dedicated Web site and the annual Heisman House Tour, which will travel to college campuses throughout the season.
The campaign features ten Nissan vehicles, including the 2016 Titan XD, the 2015 Murano and the 2015 Maxima.
The Nissan Heisman House campaign "supports Nissan’s long-standing sponsorship of the Heisman Memorial Trophy Award and the Heisman Trophy Trust, a charitable organization focused on outreach to the underprivileged and underserved," according to the automaker.
In addition to Nissan and ESPN, Heisman partners include Wendy's. Aflac and Kellog's.
This year’s spots include newcomers Marcus Mariota, Steve Spurrier and Jim Plunkett, who join returning House members Sam Bradford, Tony Dorsett, Eddie George, Robert Griffin III, Johnny Manziel, George Rogers, Troy Smith, Roger Staubach, Vinny Testaverde, Herschel Walker and Charles Woodson.
In addition, there is an appearance by former football star Joe Theismann, whose status as a Heisman runner-up to Plunkett in 1971 plays into one spot ("Tour Bus").
Also making an "appearance" of sorts is the first Heisman Trophy winner Jan Berwanger ('Jay").
“Nissan is proud of our continuing role in supporting the work of the Heisman Trust’s outstanding charity efforts, and we’ve enjoyed entertaining fans with our Heisman House campaign over the past four years,” Fred Diaz, svp-sales-marketing and operations, U.S.A., for Nissan North America, said in a statement. “This year we’ve assembled another great cast of roommates and let them loose to showcase their talents, both as the top football players of their eras and as winning performers and media personalities today.”
At NissanHeismanHouse.com, visitors can learn about current house members, cast their votes for the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner and watch behind-the-scenes footage filmed during the campaign production.
The 2015 Nissan Heisman House Tour features a simulated interactive Heisman House that will travel to college campuses throughout the country.
The Nissan Heisman House campaign was developed in collaboration with TBWA\Chiat\Day, OMD and ESPN’s in-house creative team, CreativeWorks.
Nissan earlier this summer signed a 20-year deal for naming rights to Nashville-based Nissan Stadium, which is home to the NFL's Titans, Tennessee State and the college football Music City Bowl.