Infiniti launches first African American outreach program

GARDENA, CA: Infiniti has launched its first-ever marketing campaign targeting African Americans exclusively, entitled "Infiniti in Black."

GARDENA, CA: Infiniti has launched its first-ever marketing campaign targeting African Americans exclusively, entitled "Infiniti in Black."

The year-long campaign pairs vehicles with African-American artists or art movements, with a new pairing every two months. The idea is to associate African-American "innovators" with Infiniti models.

While Nissan has worked on campaigns geared towards the African-American community before, this is the first for its Infiniti division, according to Terri Hines, senior manager of corporate marketing communications.

"We have hot new innovative products coming from the Infiniti division and have an ever-growing African-American consumer population," Hines says. "It makes sense to diversify across all product lines."

"Nissan has a long history of being active in the African-American community, through community relations, special events, and philanthropic activities," said Kim Hunter, president of Lagrant Communications, Nissan's multicultural PR firm for the past nine years. "This is a great step moving the needle from Nissan to Infiniti."

Hunter pointed out that the affluent African-American market would be more interested in the luxury line and would find this campaign important. Hunter said this campaign afforded Nissan the opportunity to promote Infinity as a part of the company while building upon its African-American outreach.

The current pairing joins the G35 Coupe with artist Kehinde Wiley under the title "A Portrait in Black." Future pairings include SUVs with a musician and an architect, and sedans with a filmmaker and an artist. The company is also sponsoring Wiley's first museum exhibition, "Passing/Posing," at the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

"The campaign gives us a different and unique vehicle to communicate," Hines said. "The community and culture arts are something that Nissan embraces."

"The 'Infiniti in Black' campaign will provide a voice for emerging artists and the importance of the cultural arts on the African American community," Wiley said, in a release.

Monica Smith, manager of urban and youth marketing, runs the campaign for Nissan. The multimedia campaign also includes print, interactive, and out-of-home advertising, designed by Nissan's multicultural advertising agency, TRUE.

Infiniti hopes to drive consumers to a multimedia website,, where the Infiniti model, artists, and their artistic phases will be displayed, as well as short films of the artists discussing their vision and key influences on their work. The website is mentioned on its ads and at the exhibition.

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