Monday, January 20

Bad Ads

My family wanted to watch the Seahawk football game yesterday. I found myself AMAZED by two car ads by Nissan. In the first, a smiling lady went hurtling toward traffic including cyclists. At the very last moment she swerved up a pedestrian ramp, hurtle through space and drive across the roof of a moving train. Somehow the car flew off and to an empty road where the lady (still smiling) innocently inquired of her passengers "are we early?"

In the second ad, things were less coherent other than "a professional driver on closed course" crashed by repeatedly sideswiping other cars with a Nissan.

None of my family could tell me any reason why either of the ads might either sell Nissans or illustrate any responsible driving message whatsoever. Might Nissan be targeting people suffering from road rage as a new market segment? Perhaps their lawyers ought to add a disclaimer stating no cyclists or pedestrians were killed in the filming. Perhaps Nissan should hire their "professionals" from somewhere other than a demolition derby.

While I'm on Nissan, I'll add the note that the commercial looks vaguely like New York, whose new police commissioner announced that pedestrians and cyclists cause much of the traffic mayhem there. I'll not repeat the excellent "Invisible Visible" essay here other than to recommend it to my loyal reader and to wonder if Nissan is simply a believer attempting to "even the books."

Sheesh. I actually found one of the commercials for a Nissan Rogue at In Nissan's defense, there is a brief disclaimer that was clipped from the bottom of our screen that stated nonsense about it being a fantasy commute and cars can't really drive over trains.

Apparently others have also noticed. Forbes talks about both ads at


Khal said...

What's even funnier is that a few years ago, Buycycling Magazine ran one or more of these dangerous driving ads. The ad sold a car with the idea of unleashing your aggressions on the road. I wrote LAB, NCBW, and Buycycling about it and got some bullstuff in return saying Buycycling's business part of its masthead was separate from its editorial. In other words, Bicycling can extoll riding, and in the same breath, promote dangerous and aggressive driving.

Pretty sick, eh?

Invisible's piece is a good one.

Ian Brett Cooper said...

The Nissan Rogue ad seems to have cut out the police helicopter giving chase and the ending in which the police surround the car, beat the driver senseless and drag her and her friends (all of whom appear to be on Valium or something stronger) off to the local precinct house.

Not sure why Nissan's marketing department thinks that showing a lunatic engaged in potentially homicidal and suicidal behavior is a good way to sell cars. This one even beats the appalling "Aggression in it's most elegant form" Acura ads of a few years ago.

Khal said...

Ian, that Acura ad may have been the one in Buycycling.

Steve A said...

I think Ian's notion about the helicopter represents our fantasy rather than Nissan's. Ironically, in the Nissan crashing into other cars ad (search YouTube "Nissan Rogue briefcase commercial" there IS a helicopter in the chase!

At least there was a snowboarder in the Acura ad rather than a grinning actor playing the psycho.

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