an Ad a Day

A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

Nissan Cube: Choose Your Colors

Posted by Rosepixie on February 25, 2010

This is an ad for the Nissan Cube.  I have two different versions of it, but it’s exactly the same ad.


The text reads:

Set preferences

It’s your space.  The Cube mobile device lets you personalize with over 40 different colorful accessories.  Go ahead and edit your dash topper, 20 color interior illumination, ripple hooks and interior appliques.  Then upgrade your storage capacity with front-door bungees and a utility pouch.  Your undos and redos are limitless.

Shift the way you move.

I’m… not even sure what to make of this.  It’s describing this car like it’s a cell phone or an mp3 player or something.  Personally, I don’t shop for cars the same way I shop for small electronics.  For one thing, I’m far less likely to die if something goes wrong with my iPod than if something goes wrong with my car.  So while I do have a preferred range of colors on my list of things to look for in a car, it’s at the bottom of the list with the things marked “optional features”.  It’s not remotely near the important stuff that actually makes me consider looking at or buying a car.

And while I realize there are people who buy new cars as frequently as they buy new cell phones, I’m guessing that they look for different features than those listed here and are generally looking for more expensive cars than this (if you can afford a new car that often, chances are you can either afford a more expensive/flashy car or you can build/fix one yourself).  So who is this aimed at?  It actually reminds me of the way salespeople used to show women the mirrors as a feature because they facilitated make-up application.  It seems rather patronizing.  What do you think?

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5 Responses to “Nissan Cube: Choose Your Colors”

  1. Fangstarm said

    I’m guessing younger trendier but not rich buyers: college students and new to the workforce single 20-somethings who want something fun and different, but can’t afford a lot. Similar to people who would buy the VW beetle, the Scion, and the Ford Ka. Probably a majority of women but not necessarily all. I think it’s reasonable to assume any new car you buy isn’t going to kill you, so that consideration doesn’t enter into it. If you’re just looking for a cheap fun recreational car to get around short distances and not do any real work, I can see the appeal of this.

    • Rosepixie said

      I’m not disputing that there are people for whom this car would be appealing. I’m just not sure the advertisement is well thought out. Regardless of what you are looking for in a car, it’s not a cell phone. Even a shiny new car is more likely to kill you than an iPod. No car is immune to malfunctions, crashes and other problems. Safety is a genuine concern. As are things like fuel economy and emissions. It does you little good to buy a cheap car if it’s going to cost you buckets of money to keep it in gas! Any ad must have appealed to someone or it wouldn’t be made. That doesn’t mean it’s a good ad, an effective ad or a responsible ad. I’d question if this ad is any of those things.

  2. Kate said

    What country is this ad from? I haven’t seen it in the uk.

  3. Eva said

    I’ve been really surprised in the past by friends who I otherwise thought were intelligent discriminating people, who ended up being heavily swayed by how the interior of a car looked over quality and durability factors. They also managed to insult my inexpensive but high quality car while I was driving them to pick their new car up, so possibly I should be revising my estimates of their intelligence….

    Anyway, I’m betting the folks selling this car are trying to sell it to people who would dearly like to make a car all flashy and “pimped out” with stupid shit like extra lights and spoilers and more tailpipes than you can count. That’s not cheap, but this car obviously is (chintzy even). From my point of view it also looks like ass, but then again I’m definitely not in that target audience.

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