Case Detail

Case Summary

Marketing the Nissan Micra and Tata Nano Using Social Media

Case Number: 5-412-752, Year Published: 2012

HBS Number: KEL774

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Authors: Alice Tybout; Natalie Fahey

Key Concepts

Advertising, Communication, Consumer Marketing, International Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Communication, Public Relations, Social Media


The case explores the similarities and differences between social media campaigns launched by Nissan and by Tata Motors to stimulate sales for models of their cars in India. The Nissan campaign allowed consumers to compete to star with Ranbir Kapoor, a Bollywood star and spokesman for the Nissan Micra, in a short film featuring the Micra as the hero. The Tata campaign launched India’s first social streaming show, in which select teams of consumers participated in an Amazing Race-style road trip competition in different regions of the country. Both campaigns made extensive use of Facebook. Students are tasked with evaluating the two campaigns in terms of their fit with the communication objectives of each company and their effectiveness on a variety of metrics. The case includes links to advertisements and other video material. Although the case is written to be used independently, it also would work well in combination with the "Positioning the Tata Nano (A) and (B)" cases.

Learning Objectives

After students have analyzed the case, they will:

  • Understand how traditional and social media complement each other in achieving a company’s communication objectives
  • Appreciate the different role that social media may play when a company/brand is relatively unknown to a targeted group of consumers (Nissan) versus when a company/brand is highly familiar to consumers (Tata)
  • Recognize the challenges associated with sustaining consumer engagement with social media campaigns

Number of Pages: 12

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Marketing

Teaching Note Available: Yes

Geographic: India

Industry: Automotive

Organization Name: Nissan and Tata Motors

Decision Maker Position: Social Media Director

Decision Maker Gender: Female

Year of Case: 2012