October 18, 2013
This particular commercial first aired last year, as an advertisement for Nissan’s band new 2013 Altima automobile. At the time, it received heavy airplay. Then, as all commercials eventually do, it finally disappeared. However, I have seen it several times during the past couple of weeks, and no, it has not lost any of its stupidity.
The premise of the commercial is that a man has purchased a new Altima; however, nothing in the commercial conveys this message. The commercial starts innocently enough with a man walking into a gas station carrying a ball cap, coffee mug and a soda cup, all boasting the logo of presumably his favorite gas station. The station attendant, who is very emotionally upset, tells the man he wanted him to keep the items. The customer responds, “It would be weird.”
At this point in the commercial, viewers have no idea it is a car commercial, and one might think these two men are lovers, especially as the station attendant is in near tears over the assumed breakup. We then see the customer getting back into his car while his wife/girlfriend asks, “How did it go?” The man replies, “He’s upset.” Finally, at the very end of the thirty second commercial that we are informed that Nissan’s 2013 Altima gets thirty-eight miles per gallon.
Granted, thirty-eight miles per gallon is decent gas mileage, but it is not as if the couple will never have to fill up their gas tanks again. Even if the Altima doubled his gas mileage, they still probably would have to buy gas every other week. The commercial makes it seem as if the customer will never have to purchase fuel for his car again, especially how broken hearted the station attendant seems to be. Maybe, if this were an advertisement for an all-electric vehicle, would its theme be more plausible. Since it is not, this commercial is just downright stupid.
With advertising having taken over our radio and television programming (there are now at least twice as many commercials on television as there was during the 1960s), those men and women who create the ads should have the decency of airing smart and/or funny commercials, in lieu of the unintelligent, mindless drivel that passes for this Nissan Altima advertisement.
Steven H. Spring