The Designer’s Notebook

reTHINKING the Car Commercial


Creative Fun
Nissan Sentra

OK, so let’s be honest here. Advertising, marketing and design are crafts that constantly drive towards the next “innovation” or the next “big idea”. Market segments are competitive within themselves to attract customers, and these days the holy grail of advertising is a spot going viral. I personally think this is good and bad at the same time – good because you can reach a market far bigger than you can with standard media, bad because the game is that much harder, and innovation is that much harder to come by. Well, maybe not bad – maybe we should just call it harder. But the game remains the same:

  1. analyze the creative brief
  2. drink coffee
  3. shine brilliance upon the problem
  4. drink coffee
  5. use adept mastery to produce visuals
  6. watch viral media do 90% of your work for you
  7. drink coffee
  8. watch the masses stampede toward your marketing goal
  9. receive key to the city, and perhaps a pallet of gold bars as well

Sounds simple. Well here is an example of something really innovative. And I find the best ads always seem so logical and natural and your first thought may be “How was that never done before?”

An ad for the Nissan Sentra does all this an maybe more. A car commercial showing how fun a car can be with no car. So logical, you’d think it would have been done before.


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