This “This is the New Nissan” Nissan ad better mean something

“This is the New Nissan” is the best Nissan commercial since GI Joe drove off with Barbie in a 300ZX. It stars a whole mess of Nissans, both classic and new, and promises to usher in a new era for Nissan. We are very much here for it.

From the very first second, a Safari Gold Datsun 240Z graces the screen. Behind the wheel is Brie Larson in a 1970s Farrah Fawcett coiffure. “Remember when driving was fun?” she asks while downshifting. We’re all ears.

Larson continues, “Driving used to be an act of freedom. Inspiration.” The scene shifts to a futuristic car chase in Japan, a nod to Blade Runner or Black Rain, perhaps. The car being chased by motorbikes hints at a certain commercial when the 300ZX simply could not be caught. Of course, it would’ve been better if they used a Z32 in this scene, but no one asked us.

“We had posters on our bedroom walls, and toy tracks running down our stairs,” Larson says as a toy car — a Hot Wheels Datsun 240Z — loops some orange track and flies into her hand. “But somewhere along the line, cars just got boring.” These are facts, but it’s hard to forget that Nissan has in the past couple of decades contributed a great deal to the boring-fication of cars.

Cut to the Z Proto. “You deserve a car that thrills you,” she says, “Like hot yellow sports cars with three pedals.” Closeup on the footwell and the fact that Z35 will have a manual transmission.

More new Nissans flash before us. Then, amazingly, there’s two things we’d never thought we’d see in a Nissan commercial circa 2021. First, there’s a Z31, but not just any Z31. It’s a 50th Anniversary Edition, T-tops down and Larson in an 80s perm. Then, backlit by stage lights and raising its pop-ups is an actual Pulsar NX. Now that’s a deep cut that’s truly impressive.

Then there’s five cars speeding through the desert. It’s not clear what they are, but they don’t appear modern. We’re pretty sure the middle one is a Datsun 510. Given this clip, plus the various period-appropriate cars and costumes, we’d wager there’s probably a lot of unused footage that will show up in a re-cut.

The last thing we see is a family portrait with the Z Proto in the center. “This is the new Nissan,” Larson says before driving off. Great ad! Finally, an American Nissan commercial that makes us feel something.

Internally at Nissan there’s been a lot of commotion recently about turning over a new leaf. The new CEO and former Z32 owner Makoto Uchida is said to be cleaning house and rebuilding, and this ad is declaring that things will be different moving forward. It sure sounds like they’re ready to put the Ghosn era behind them and ring in a new one that builds cars people actually want. Of course, as enthusiasts we’ve been disappointed before, and there may still be a massive let down headed our way, but for now we’ll stay optimistic and see what comes of the new Nissan.

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25 Responses to This “This is the New Nissan” Nissan ad better mean something

  1. XRaider927 says:

    some of the screenshots were broken

  2. WOW!! Zoom, zoom! Is that the new Mary? Or maybe the new Barbie!

  3. Clay says:

    Manual transmissions! Does my local dealer have any in stock?

  4. BlitzPig says:

    As they say, the proof is in the (rice) pudding.

    Fancy adverts and sloganeering are meaningless.

    The only thing that matters is the product, and right now Nissan doesn’t have it.

  5. Land Ark says:

    Yea! The new Nissan!! …Crossover, crossover, crossover, crossover, SPORTS CAR!, compact sedan (actually is it? I can’t tell if that’s a Sentra, Altima, or Maxima), pick up truck, SUV.

    Hmmm, the new Nissan looks a lot like the old Nissan.

    And yes, I remember when driving was fun. It was 1998 which happened to be the last year Nissan sold the 240SX in the States. Since then… well… I guess the G35 was pretty great but the rest seems like a blur and somehow Nissan went from the auto maker that built amazing, legendary cars to a company that will sell people FWD CUVs with CVTs if they have bad credit.

    Sorry Nissan, you hurt me and I don’t forgive that easily.

  6. MikeRL411 says:

    Where’s Mr K when we need him ?

  7. Dave says:

    “Cars that put goosebumps on your goosebumps, like…..colorful crossovers”. Um no. I like the premise of the commercial as well as the nostalgia, but don’t pretend crossovers fill that void. Crossovers have their place and they are totally necessary for success in the market today, but I wouldn’t include them in the thrill conversation.

    But overall, I like the recognition of where we are today and the call to the yesteryears. Let’s see if they follow through with their word.

  8. SEAN DEZART says:

    Maybe that’s Nissan now ?

    4x4s, their lookalikes and 1x sportscar not even on sale here in Europe…..

    Hardly blockbusting – just sounds like they changed the advertising company…..again !

  9. harshith says:

    I think Alison Brie deserves much better brand than this nissan. she should deals with lexus or Mercedes or jaguar.

  10. Crown says:

    They better come up with something or they will be following Mitsubishi into oblivion.

  11. cesariojpn says:

    I wish the view of the cars wasn’t ruined by Brie Larson.

  12. Ken Graham says:

    If I’ve said once I’ll say it again everything produced after the GFC is of questionable quality.
    They will never make a car as reliable as a 240Z or a 510 again no matter how many pretty blondes they stuff in them.

    • Dave says:

      You’ve obviously never driven a 90s Nissan. My family used to own several Sentras and a Maxima. All were some of the most reliable cars, every single one climbed over 300k without a hiccup. I have a 98 Altima nudging 400k that I’m confident enough in to drive it across the country. The Bubble era Japanese cars were rock solid reliable (with the exception being maybe Mitsubishi). Every generation of people tend to glorify the decade of cars that they grew up in but the 90s are pretty hard to beat. I am saying that as a diehard 240Z and 510 fan.

  13. J Wilson says:

    I live close by the factory in Tennessee: Believe me, it’s still the same old Nissan. The new Pontiac.

    • pete240z says:

      Once at the Chicago Auto show I talked to a Nissan marketing guy and I pointed out that Nissan was building Buicks (boring) – hence the new Altima he was in front of. Then he mentioned they sell a lot of Altima’s and that isn’t bad.

      • BlitzPig says:

        Interesting, I have called Toyota the Japanese Buick for some time. An entire line of utterly boring sedans and other drivel, and now two “sports cars” that don’t even have their own engines in them.

        Oh well, the market has spoken, and it likes boring vehicles.
        Who knew there were so many dullards among us?

  14. LB1 says:

    Well people better buy the new Z in MT I tell you that.

  15. Joel says:

    I agree with the Author, how does Datsun make a commercial and leave out the Z32?

  16. Tom says:

    What’s the orange car around the 11 second mark?

  17. Jonathan Pinckney says:

    I’m sorry, I just don’t feel the hype that this commercial is trying to sell. Maybe it’s Brie Larson, maybe it’s the crossovers, maybe the electric cars, but whatever it is, I’m not feeling it.

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