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Great Commercials--The Inexplicable Melancholy of the 2015 Nissan Super Bowl Ad

Here at Car Lust, we love talking about car commercials. Like vintage car magazines, commercials allow us to see cars through the lens of the times in which they were made. The results can be weird and wonderful; such as commercials including moonscapes and purposeful shifting, minivans with attitudea Citroen driving out of Grace Jones' mouth, gasoline-powered cell phones, a 1973 Chrysler New Yorker Brougham indistinguishable from the Apollo lunar module; a really awful mid-century salesman, Pontiac as a cultural touchstone, flowing yellow neck-sweaters, downright dangerous outbreaks of Dodge Feverfine Corinthian leather, and Joe Isuzu. These commercials are all hugely entertaining, and nearly all funny--either intentionally or not.

I'm almost convinced that the 2015 Nissan Super Bowl ad is a great commercial, but it certainly isn't funny. If anything, it's inexplicably maudlin given its subject matter. But it's also beautifully shot and executed, and perhaps most importantly, it has some truly sensational endurance racing imagery. The commercial itself is fascinating and memorable, warts and all. It is below; I break it down after the jump.

 

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Nissan Week--Great Commercials--Datsun 280ZX "Black Gold" (Car Lust Classic)

From April 28, 2010, here is a Car Lust Classic featuring a great Nissan Datsun TV commercial for "Black Gold." The car is the 10th Anniversary special edition of the original 240Z, and the period content of the ad speaks for itself. So enjoy this look into the automotive past and, as usual, please leave any new comments on the original post.

I stumbled across this commercial the other day and thought it worthy of a Car Lust commercial deconstruction. My thoughts are after the jump.

 

0:01--I love the soundtrack. This was the era of disco, and it's used to good effect here. You want hip? You want to be with it? You want the right chariot for your night out on the town? You want the Datsun 280ZX Black Gold.

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Great(ish) Commercials: Love Today/Today Is Pretty Great

This is the print advertisement that is supposed to entice Gen-Y/Millennials and me to consider buying a new Honda Civic:

Honda-civic-print-hed-2014
Nope.

*Turns the other way to the Scion dealer*

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The Best Car Commercial Ever Made(?)

We've examined a few commercials before, some in detail worthy of OCD status. We've marvelled at the kitchiness of the slogans, the blending of retro and modern, celebrity endorsements, and the apparent disconnect between the commercial and the reality. We've even examined the social and political ramifications of certain commercials. We love them. We hate them. But which is the best of them?

I submit the following: the first (North American) commercial for the Fiat 500 Abarth, "Seduction" or “You'll Never Forget The First Time You See One”. Not only is it, in this correspondent's humble opinion, one heck of a commercial, but it also nicely embodies the essence of this humble motoring blog: 

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December 29 Weekly Open Thread: "The World's Most Irritating Car Commercial"

Lately here at Car Lust, we've featured a few new and old commercials, for better or for worse. A Corvette ad of over 30 years ago is probably the best of the best, but now this ad may be the worst of the worst.

Now please don't get me wrong, I love FIATs. It was a pleasure to cover their "FIAT FreakOut" here in Nashville a few years ago, and I even owned an X1/9 for a few hours... which of course is another story.

But personally, I don't like people shouting at me. So every time this commercial comes on, I dash for the Mute button. Madly and instantly. The moment I hear those notes and that voice screaming coursely and repetatively, it has to go. Now.

Here is said ad:

 

Hopefully their Gran Finale commercial will have its swan song soon as well.

Your thoughts please? And of course, this is the place to vent anything even slightly automotively related. Anything.

--That Car Guy (Chuck)

Not-So-Great Commercials: That 2015 Cadillac Escalade Commercial - "Evolution" of Indulgence

We’ve talked about Cadillac commercials in the past, though those examples aren’t exactly regarded as automotive advertisement’s crowning achievements. And today is no different. Yes, the ELR commercial had some political undertones attached to it, but it could still be enjoyable. This one struck a nerve the first time I saw it. Even its title rubs me the wrong way. So let’s watch it before it gets taken down.

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1985-2007 Yamaha V-Max

  Yamaha-vmax

For 1985, the motorcycle world would never be the same. Few bikes deserved the title of “game-changer”, but this one did. And that bike was… the 1985 Suzuki GSX-R750.

But wait! What’s going on at the Yamaha pits? A roaring engine, a cloud of smoke and burning rubber, accented with the almost totally-drowned-out sound of uncontrollable laughter?

I can just picture the (totally made-up) scenario…

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1989: It Was a Very Good Year!

Nineteen eighty-nine was a dream in a dream
We straddled the thin line between what it means or it seems
To be sure enough we left the world behind

--Grey Eye Glances, "The Lost Coast"

Though nobody expected it to be that way at the start, 1989 was a momentous year, one in which much of what seemed a permanent part of the world was left behind by December 31.

It was certainly that way in Eastern Europe. The "Iron Curtain" looked like it would be there forever on January 1, but that would soon change. In February, the Polish Communist government and representatives of the Solidarity independent trade union entered into the "Round Table Agreement" for the liberalization of the political system; the country held free elections that summer and the new government abolished state socialism and withdrew from the Soviet-dominated "Warsaw Pact" by year's end. In East Germany, a series of mass demonstrations inspired by Solidarity's success led to the fall of the Berlin Wall in November.

"You can bend me you can break me, but you'd better stand clear/When the walls come tumblin' down..." --John MellencampThere were other peaceful transitions to democracy in Chezchoslovakia ("the Velvet Revolution"), Bulgaria, and Hungary. The not-so-peaceful Romanian Revolution in December overthrew the brutal Caucescu regime, and the tyrant met his fate before a firing squad. Even in the Soviet Union, the seemingly-mighty empire which would go out of business completely in anticlimactic fashion just two years later, the government had begun yielding to the tide.

The tides of liberty weren't confined to Eastern Europe. Down in South Africa, P.W. Botha met face to face with Nelson Mandela, one of a series of negotiations which led to the end of the apartheid system of racial segregation. The thuggish Noriega dictatorship in Panama was put out of business Just under half of the class appears in this photo.by U.S. military intervention. Brazil and Chile held their first free elections in decades. In China, the Tiananmen Square protests captured the world's attention before the democracy movement was brutally suppressed.

On a much smaller scale of importance, 1989 was a year of great changes for me personally: I graduated from law school, moved, passed the bar, got married, and embarked on my present career. With my law school class holding its 25-year reunion in August (photo at right), and me being all nostalgic and such because of that, it seemed an appropriate occasion to look back on the automotive world of 1989.

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Great(ish) Commercials – Style Never Goes Out Of Style… Allegedly

I’ve wanted to tear into this commercial from the moment I saw it. I chose the longer version for further dismemberment.

 

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Great(ish) Commercials – Let The Race Begin

 

Acura Let the Race Begin black horse1

It’s been a while since Car Lust did a proper commercial break-down. I wanted to give it a try. Now, there are many great car commercials out there, plenty for me to choose from, but when the following commercial aired this year, I knew I had to use it for reasons that will become obvious as we break it down. Before we begin, place yourself on your living room. You’ve never seen this commercial before. Could be about anything. Ready? Now, the commercial:

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Pictured above: This is a forlorn Chevy Vega photographed by reader Gary Sinar. (Share yours)

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