11 June 2006
A Tiid-ious campaign from Nissan
If you've watched Australian TV at all this year, you couldn't help knowing that Nissan has launched the Tiida, its small-car replacement for the Pulsar. Now, I may not be in the target demographic (said to be 30-something, female skew), but when it comes to the ad campaign, I reckon the name Tiida must be short for "tired idea". When Harry Met Sally, which featured Meg Ryan's fake orgasm scene, was made in 1989. How many times since then has the "I'll have what she's having" idea been used in advertising? Definitely for shampoo, and I think I also recall a breakfast cereal version. Anyway, as a creative idea, "product induces orgasm" is, like a 1989 Nissan Pulsar (pictured), unlikely to turn many heads or win many awards in 2006.
OK, so there are plenty of lame ads around. The reason why I really take exception to this one has much more to do with what we might call the "Trapper John, MD effect". There is something unpleasant and disheartening about the exploitation of a well-loved character from a TV show, especially when it is done in a way that is unimaginative, predictable and very unfunny.
Consumers and TV viewers can tell the difference between actors and their characters. We know it's Sarah Jessica Parker, not Sex and The City's Carrie Bradshaw, who advertises Garnier Nutrisse. But the person in the Nissan Tiida ad is clearly the character Samantha Jones, not the actor Kim Cattrall.
I want (and feel I have the right) to remember the women of Sex and The City as they were written by Darren Star and Michael Patrick King, and as we left them at the end of Season 6 in 2004*. If they are to have a life after Sex, then let Darren Star decide that - I don't want my fond memories of a landmark TV show to be sullied in any way by some Australian copywriter's idea of how "Sam" might enjoy a ride in a small Japanese car. Even if it was developed by an all-female creative team at Whybin TBWA, and they happen to be the world's biggest fans of Sex and The City, that's no excuse in my book (in fact, if they claim to be fans, that gives them even less excuse!).
*Just a reminder... in the final epsiode we left Samantha Jones in her most committed relationship yet (with Smith) and fighting breast cancer.