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Marty’s Marketing Minutia

Thoughts on Nissan’s brilliant Leaf commercial!

by on Sep.17, 2010

Can advertising overcome the range and pricing challenges the Leaf faces?

When I first started reviewing automotive advertising for Automotive News several years ago I would not review a commercial I had not first seen on television. The reels from agencies stacked up in my office, but this was a point of integrity: if, as Mr. Average Viewer,  the commercial had caught my attention, generated a reaction, made me laugh, whatever …  then it was reviewed. If not, no review.

That’s why two nights ago watching some forgettable program on some cable network I first saw the Nissan commercial for the new Leaf called Polar Bear. I sat dumfounded.

This is stunning, brilliant, compelling emotional, dynamic  and amazing commercial!

Nissan’s advertising agency, TBWA/ Chiat-Day/Los Angeles has created a commercial masterpiece that throws down a creative gauntlet for Nissan (who had the good taste and sense to approve it) with the implied challenge: top this, if you can!  Which may be difficult for most brands. Think the first VW ads from Doyle Dane Bernbach some fifty years ago in the real days of Mad Men as iconic advertising trend setters. Polar bear is that good.


We certainly know who the usual suspects will be and the newbie’s are but the question remains: who will next advertise their environmentally conscious green wannabe machine. And based on most current auto ecovertising, we’ll be deluged with boring battery data, hours per charge, ions, electric plugs and national grids or a bucolic verdant setting with happy families or the universal running footage on the PCH ad nauseam.