Black and white, no voice over, and still photography. The campaign planner at Nissan got a lot of resistance internally but it turned out to be a triumph and then everybody insisted that they had always liked the idea..! Thanks to Kohei Noguchi for sharing this and the background to it in the Nissan Corporate Case Study in SILS a few years back.

The Japanese version, which more explicitly references the antecedents of the Z in the past Nissan product line-up, and the ‘DNA’ of which is carried over to the modern Z. (unfortunately not a clean copy of the video)

And with a model update the same aesthetic was continued in the advertising campaign, for the US market introducing some more practical statements about technical features while still avoiding a voice over. Colour is selectively used to effect.

So many want a Z but are confronted with the problem of it being a 2-seater. Nissan has responded in the US to that..

And a trip down ‘memory lane’ via a 1972 CM for Nissan’s Skyline with the famous ‘Ken and Mary’ characters; so popular that the styling is referred to as the ‘kenmeri’ look (which was partly a gag as it was a reversal of the US-oriented styling ‘a-meri-ken’). For the great backstory see this profile of the American woman, then a school girl, who played Mary. The Japanese guy, Jimmy Zinnai, was half-Russian and died tragically in a motorbike accident.

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About Christopher Pokarier

australian professor of business & governance @ waseda university in tokyo researching cultural industries, economic nationality & borders, university internationalisation

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