As a culture of consumers, we set great store by being impressed, exactly because we know how impossible we are to impress. Through the years, there have been a handful of television advertisements that have managed to leave such lasting impressions that we talk about them still. Like in 1985 when Mr Pratley stood confidently in the shadow cast by a 13 tonne bulldozer, suspended above his head on the strength of nothing but their patented adhesives. Or when Mr Rawson watched unflinchingly as their company’s trellis security gate stood as his only protection against a speeding wrecking ball.
Indeed, the wrecking ball-theme is quite an effective one and for good reason. Few things convey power so eloquently as a great, honking hunk of metal meant to knock down buildings. Its only competitors are high grade explosives and earthquakes. Barring the horrible abuse of the wrecking ball-image by Miley Cyrus, it remains the standard for the toughest of the tough and the hardest of the hard.
So who remembers the 1995 television advertisement for the Nissan Maxima 3.0 V6?
It’s a dramatic piece, to be sure, set in the remains of a warehouse-like structure, with red brick-and-dirt clinging to a skeleton of steel girders. The Maxima is presented as the shiny jewel amid the rugged surrounds and, for a car more than twenty years out of fashion, we have to say, it does not look half bad. As the Maxima is slowly hoisted into the air, a calm, authoritative voice informs the viewer that when the engineers endowed it with a V6, three litre engine, the most powerful computer in the world required that it be made safe.
At this point, the Maxima is speeding toward a solid brick wall, being swung by a crane: like a wrecking ball. At the last moment before impact, the scene shifts to the interior, to the fast approaching barrier beyond the windscreen and, horror of horrors: there’s a person behind the wheel! The Maxima crashes, passenger and all, into the wall. The wall bows inward, bricks scatter like chaff as the Maxima breaks right through…
Not only is nobody dead, the Maxima (although dusty and scuffed) is mostly unscathed. The advertisement proceeds to make its point by systematically demolishing the warehouse, swinging the Maxima through wall after wall, all the while reminding us of the vehicle’s features and how the most powerful computer in the world insists that it be made safe. Finally, as the Maxima is lowered to the ground, a healthy and hale passenger steps out, seemingly without a hair out of place or a hitch in his step. Impressive, yes?
Now fast forward two decades into the future. If Nissan could do that in 1995, imagine how the advances in material- and safety technology has improved the modern Maxima. It would come as no surprise to see a Maxima being airdropped from 30,000 feet and then being driven from the crater under its own steam. Not to mention that your onboard monitoring system probably outclasses the “most power computer in the world” of twenty years ago.
Quickly! Somebody email Nissan about our airdrop-idea…