Nissan College Football ‘Heisman House’ Prank Campaign Plugs Nissan@Home E-Commerce

Nissan heisman House 1

Nissan leveraged the start of the college football season by expanding its ongoing ‘Heisman House’ campaign to promote its new Nissan@Home digital shopping tool which enables consumers to buy vehicles online.


One of the auto brand’s biggest campaigns of the year, created by agency TBWA\Chiat\Day New York, the activation follows on from the tool’s Spring launch and Nissan is now seeking to use the start of the football season to drive awareness of its online purchasing programme through the 10th season of its ‘Heisman House’ college football campaign.


Leveraging its partnership with the Heisman Trophy Trust and launched on 1 September, the creative stays true to the familiar, light-hearted approach of featuring previous Heisman Trophy winners (and brand ambassadors) all sharing a house – fraternity-style.


It is spearheaded by a pair of spots: ‘This is How We Heisman’ features 2020 Heisman winner DeVonta Smith being lightly hazed in an ad that closes with Baker Mayfield tricking him into ordering 40 Nissan Pathfinders using Nissan@Home (all the SUVs showing up at once at the front door of the Heisman House).



The second ‘DeVonte’s Room’ spot also stars Smith, the former University of Alabama wide receiver who plays for the Philadelphia Eagles, and sees him promote the e-commerce service in a spot featuring the 2022 Nissan Frontier and the player’s pass-catching ability.



Both commercials seek to drive viewers online to find out more about the campaign and the digital purchasing tool at…


According to Nissan US Chief marketing officer Allyson Witherspoon, as well as the college football campaign the brand is resuming its on-campus ‘Heisman House Tour’ with a focus on supporting historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) through its partnerships with Grambling State University, Hampton University, Howard University, North Carolina A&T State University, Southern University and A&M College, plus Tennessee State University.


Last year, Nissan cancelled the tour activation strand due to the pandemic, but Witherspoon said at the campaign launch that Nissan will bring its college football media back spending to normal levels this year and has built a new mobile Heisman House designed to keep the marketing experience outdoors (whilst it will continue using the virtual Heisman House that it created last year).





This activation is yet another sign that automakers are getting serious about digital retailing. While many shoppers have researched cars online for many years now, the purchase path has still largely involved dealerships, test drives, in-person credit checks and physically sign paperwork.


But an increasing number of brands, Nissan USA included, are allowing buyers to perform all those tasks online.


Launched in Spring 2021, the service is now used at 460 of Nissan’s 1,073 US dealers (according to Automotive News) and Nissan plans to launch a dedicated Nissan@Home campaign in November following its college football activation phase.


This campaign follows in the footsteps of a decade of previous Heisman House activations including its notable campaigns in 2019 and 2015.




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