A new Nissan ad depicts the auto industry’s last 30 years

While most of America was watching the commercials between a big contest of Jeep crossovers and Dodge pickups, Nissan released a new advert tracing the arc of automotive trends of the last 30 years. Using only Nissan cars and a jaunty music accompaniment, the ad capitalizes on 90s nostalgia and tricky camerawork. It begins innocently enough — a couple starts out with a Nissan Cefiro in their garage, a cathode-ray television, and a pile of VHS tapes. Soon the Cefiro is replaced by a Skyline GT-R, and life seems great at the height of the Bubble Era.

A lot of great cars whiz by — a Figaro, Rasheen, and March — as the household electronics evolve into a PC, flatscreen, and and so on, but the cars get progressively more depressing. In the early 2000s, there’s a brief glimmer of hope when a Z33 Fairlady Z appears momentarily, but its presence is as fleeting as the bloom of a cherry blossom tree. The ad is supposed to show how great the evolution of cars and technology is, but we’re not sure it has the intended effect. By showing its most iconic models, Nissan isn’t making people think, “Hey, I’m so glad I traded in my R32 in for a Note!” The ad probably would’ve worked a lot better if successive generations of like models were shown instead.

However, the camerawork is truly amazing, and Nissan has provided a helpful “Behind the Scenes” video showing how the commercial was made. At least Nissan has a giant collection of heritage cars that it can draw on to make a commercial like this. Many manufacturers would’ve had to source them outside.

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4 Responses to A new Nissan ad depicts the auto industry’s last 30 years

  1. BlitzPig says:

    Yup, from fun to boring in no time flat.

  2. Ian Newman says:

    No First Car?? No Datsun 1600/P510 ?? No 240Z ?? Gawd! It must’ve been made by twelve year olds!! As has been said, depressing. Even the actors’ body language gave it away…

    High production values, badly written story.

    Sad Face.

    • XRaider says:

      uh……If you do not know about this video much, then this is about the heisei era which will conclude this april when the abdication of the current emperor akihito to pass his throne to his son prince naruhito….sorry the cars you mention are from the showa era….except for the a31 cefiro

  3. Ant says:

    Hey now, what’s wrong with the Cube and Elgrand either side of the 350Z? The Cube’s every bit as interesting as any of the Pike cars, and big luxo-vans like the Elgrand have long been a part of Nissan’s lineup.

    I’m kinda surprised they didn’t include the Juke in the ad (rather than the Note) – like it or not, it’s a characterful design and fun to drive. Or the R35 GT-R, which would have been an obvious inclusion given the R32 featured earlier on.

    I sometimes don’t get the malaise for modern Nissan though. Yes, there’s a whole lot of dull stuff out there, but then that was always the case, it’s just easier to remember the good ones. Some cars have been put out to pasture obviously (we’re notably short of a Silvia) and others are long in the tooth (370Z and GT-R, though both are still a lot of fun)

    In another 10-20 years people will fondly remember a fairly wide selection of post-2000 Nissans – off the top of my head, 350/370Z, the most recent two generations of Cube, several of the JDM models rebadged as Infinitis in the west (M45 etc), the first-gen Murano (350Z-powered SUV that wasn’t just a box on wheels like most others still were at the time), the Juke (particularly the Nismo), the GT-R.

    Maybe even some models of Sentra, Altima and Maxima (hey, they haven’t *all* been bad in the 2000s!)… plus various Japan-only models from the last couple of decades too. If nothing else, the joys of depreciation will make some of this stuff look more appealing than maybe it does in 2019…

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