Kelly Ruest Wins Nissan Contest, Donates Car to Charity

By Bob Peters
May 1, 2012

Kelly Ruest Nissan Innovation ChallengeCORNWALL, ON – Kelly Ruest, a mother of two from Cornwall, has won the Nissan Canada Innovation Challenge.

The three-phase contest launched in November of 2011, when Nissan tried a new approach to marketing by asking consumers to develop the next Nissan commercial.

"My husband Wade heard about the contest on television and suggested that I enter," recalls Kelly. "I don't normally enter these types of contest but I was impressed by Nissan's inspiring question:" 'What does Innovation mean to you?'"

Kelly Ruest’s successful pitch portrayed a Canadian family embarking on a road-trip in a Nissan that makes every stretch of the journey as enjoyable as the destination, effectively eliminating the question, “Are we there yet?”

"Cornwall Nissan helped us by letting us test drive a beautiful Murano for our video and slide show," said Kelly.

After receiving over eight thousand submissions, an expert panel of judges narrowed it down to 200. Those 200 semi-finalists then submitted on Facebook, a short, simple video to pitch his or her commercial idea, connecting their representation of ‘innovation’ to a specific Nissan nameplate. The next phase of the contest brought in an expanded panel of judges – Nissan Canada’s Facebook community. Facebook fans then voted on their favourite video to shortlist the entrants down to five. Those five individuals flew to Toronto, where they pitched their ideas in-person.

"A lot of preparation went into the presentation I gave at the final competition," says Kelly. "I prepared a power point presentation and rehearsed it several times. I was maybe able to sleep for two hours the night before."

Kelly’s concept has been developed into a 30-second national television spot which premiered yesterday during the Nissan Innovation Challenge episode on CityTV, and will air regularly on conventional and speciality channels across Canada.

Kelly was set to enjoy many comfortable road trips with her own family in the vehicle she selected as her grand prize, a 2012 Nissan Murano Platinum Edition. However, Kelly has a new plan.

"Using the prize, we will be donating a new vehicle to S.D.& G. Developmental Services and we are looking into the purchase of a Nissan vehicle for our own family using the remainder of the prize."

"The Centre will use their new Nissan to transport special needs children  to CHEO for appointments, for staff to utilize when accessing out-of-town training so they bring expert knowledge back to Cornwall; and/or the staff at the Family Respite Home might sign out the vehicle to take clients to community events on weekends."

Now that's what Kelly calls: "Innovation for All!"

You can see the final Nissan TV spot using Kelly's idea here:


Category: Community