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Basem Wasef

** UPDATED ** Nissan Juke: Predator, Motorcycles: Prey

By September 7, 2011

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Nissan Juke Motorcycle Tank

Update as of 9/12/11, 10:27AM PDT:

Thanks for everyone's comments. I received this note from Nissan's PR department: "We've heard your concerns regarding the JUKE Trophy digital video, and pulled it immediately. We sincerely apologize that our creative direction missed the mark. Nissan promotes sharing the road with all riders and drivers and does not condone reckless behavior. Thanks for sharing your feedback."

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Here's an eye-opener for you: watch this Nissan Juke ad, which tells the tale of how the Japanese compact sport utility came to acquire its "unique center console."

Without spoiling too much, let's just say that within the clip's computer-generated, anime-inspired realm, the Juke's center console was inspired by a fantasy involving the gladiatorial annihilation of motorcycles and riders.

I enjoy testing cars as well as bikes, and had plenty of good things to say about the Juke when I reviewed it-- but had I seen the offending clip back then, I might have a different opinion on that "motorcycle-inspired" center console.

Incidentally, my contact who forwarded me the clip wrote a note to Nissan, who offered this response:

We at Nissan North America, Inc. are very concerned about acceptable advertising programs. We do have both a professional screening service and our advertising agency monitoring the general content of advertisements carrying the Nissan message. Nissan recognizes that people have different standards as to the acceptable content, and we sincerely apologize that you found this particular advertisement to be unacceptable.

What do you think?

Source: YouTube, Reg Kittrelle

Photo © Basem Wasef; click to enlarge

Comments
September 7, 2011 at 3:14 pm
(1) Pete says:

The graphics are great …too bad the ad is bulls***.
Nice to hear they’re concerned about acceptable standards.
And they didn’t see anything wrong with that?

Glad I work for Honda…not that I’d planned on buying a Nissan any time soon.

September 7, 2011 at 8:24 pm
(2) Pete says:

“very concerned about acceptable advertising”. Coulda fooled me!
Anybody ever have some ahole in car take a deliberate run at you? It’s been a very long time, and only once, but I recall it like it was yesterday.
Clearly that’s not what Nissan is doing here, but I’m surprised this made it past the legions of lawyers and PR types. The graphics are great, but that’s about it.
I’m glad I work for Honda…not that I was about to run out and buy a Nissan anytime soon. I can’t afford a GTR anyway.
Nissan…you blew it with this one.

September 8, 2011 at 7:54 am
(3) Dabber says:

Nothing angers Me more than well thought out Stupidity!

September 8, 2011 at 10:37 am
(4) ANGELM says:

Motorcycle accidents are serious and frequently the result of a careless auto driver. That being said.

“WHERE IS OUR SENSE OF HUMOR”???

Anime are dark themed violent cartoons, with a huge following. Surprise, an advertising agency is using anime to address a market share to push a product. If you are offended then you are not part of the target audience.

We ride our bikes for many reasons and no other form of transportation will ever replace the feeling. Lets not lose our sense of humor because others are unable to understand.

September 8, 2011 at 11:00 am
(5) Scottie says:

The “target audience” also sends text messages while driving.

I can laugh at many things, but a car chasing down motorcycles is not one of them

September 8, 2011 at 11:08 am
(6) Dabber says:

Angelm, I understand your point. Generally Anime isn’t used to hock stuff. I am a fan of Anime, I guess it’s all in the context.

September 8, 2011 at 12:05 pm
(7) alex ugur says:

It’s hardly likely to turn your average driver into a psychopath, is it?
I see it as harmless fun, and I enjoyed it as such.

September 8, 2011 at 12:24 pm
(8) Scottie says:

Alex,

The problem is that the average driver

September 8, 2011 at 12:26 pm
(9) Scottie says:

Alex,

The problem is that the average driver is a narcissist

September 8, 2011 at 12:50 pm
(10) alex ugur says:

Scottie,
Of course the average driver is to blame and not such animé. Unfortuanately, even when I’m on my bike, I occasionally and shamefacedly have to count myself amongst the average.
Just this afternoon, I had a close shave on a narrow winding road with blind corners. I was following a merc at reasonable speed, say 45-50 mph. Coming around a r/h corner(we drive on the left here) the following view opens up: an oncoming bus on our side overtaking a tractor and of course, as I see this, the merc is already breaking hard. The road being wet, I lost traction on my back wheel, but stayed in control, as we nearly came to a stop. As I was breaking, I aimed for the gap between the merc and the ditch, which I knew wasn’t quite wide enough. As it happened, I came to within about 6ft of the merc’s bumper/fender. Now, I can blame the dangerously stupid behaviour of the bus driver, but I was also too close to the merc for comfort. To be safe, I should have kept a little more distance. ;-)

September 8, 2011 at 4:39 pm
(11) Ian says:

The ad is pretty outrageous. First it paints motorcyclists as out-of-control predators, then it has the car driver deliberately running down bikes (okay, so in the video, the motorcyclists are the bad guys and the car is Dirty Harry). Frankly I think the most likely scenario is that the driver of the Juke would be more likely to run over a motorcyclist while simultaneously texting and applying makeup, shaving or drinking coffee.
All that said, Nissan’s legal department might want to think about Patrick Davis. He was a young man who was seriously injured while a passenger in a recklessly-driven Trans Am. General Motors ended up making a healthy cash settlement after being sued on the grounds that the “Smokey and the Bandit” movies marketed the Trans Am as a stunt vehicle and therefore contributed to the accident.
I’m not suggesting that the grounds for that lawsuit were meritorious, just that there’s a precedent out ther.

September 12, 2011 at 2:25 am
(12) Aaron Gold - Cars Guide says:

I also liked the Juke, and I don’t ride a motorcycle, but I found this ad to be in *very* bad taste.

I don’t think the average driver is careful enough around motorcycles. I always give them a wide berth (even when they won’t let me get by on a curvy road (: ). I’ve had a motorcycle go down in the lane next to me, and a couple of weeks ago I had a bicycle go down in front of me. Both times I had plenty of space to avoid hitting the bikes or the riders, but a less careful driver could have turned a simple accident into a disaster.

Aaron Gold – Guide to Cars
cars.about.com

September 12, 2011 at 3:47 pm
(13) paul scott says:

pleased to see nissan have pulled this totaly irresponsible advert! the highly paid designers should be pulled to task, biker deaths are mostly caused by car drivers who dont pay attention on the roads! we dont need this sort of advert making bikers easy targets for a car manufacturers gain!!

September 13, 2011 at 4:08 pm
(14) Pete says:

1st – Kudos to Basem and About.com for bringing this to light.
2nd – Kudos to Nissan for doing the right thing!

Thanks!!

September 14, 2011 at 1:21 am
(15) Clive says:

“Professional” advertising??
About as professional as a Nissan product.

September 14, 2011 at 4:08 pm
(16) Steve says:

Despite what Nissan claimed to have done, the “Trophy” video remains live on YouTube at 16:00 on 9/14/11.

September 14, 2011 at 4:22 pm
(17) Basem Wasef - About.com Motorcycles Guide says:

Steve,

As mentioned in my email to you, in Nissan’s defense, I will say that it’s sometimes difficult for all digital iterations of a video to be pulled immediately. But I’ve forwarded a note to them.

Thanks for your comment.

Basem

September 15, 2011 at 4:21 am
(18) Dread says:

I personally don’t care, and I’ve been driven at by vans on country roads and trolled by racer-boys. Adverts and films etc don’t offend me. Actual f****** drivers do. I think nissan should make it up by making an advert where they advertise motorcyclists as the owners of the road, “you might not be this free… [shows easy rider type clip of people flying all over an empty desert high-way on cruisers and sports bikes]…but you can be this free…[shows clip of car in a packed urban environment making same kinds of movements in multi-story car park, around congested traffic and changing lanes on motorway]. lol.

September 22, 2011 at 9:52 pm
(19) Two sides says:

This ad is nothing to get upset about. It’s just a fantasy ad.

Also, with all the “cage” hate here you’d think motorcyclists ride like perfect little angels. Hate to spoil the illusion, but motorcyclists ride just as stupidly as any car driver drives.

Just today I saw a couple on a small cruiser, he was wearing a proper helmet, and didn’t think enough of his female companion to get her a real helmet…she had a softball helmet with faceguard. So, let’s not pretend that motorcyclists are victims. They act douchey too.

Squeezing between traffic, weaving in and out of lanes, speeding excessively. I’ve seen motorcyclist do all that, and I’m sure that a lot of those “car came at me” claims are really “I was riding like a douche and it bit me in the A” in reality.

Two sides to every story people.

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