Nissan Responds Over Juke Commercial Controversy

09/09/2011 @ 11:32 am, by Jensen Beeler20 COMMENTS

After an outpouring of criticism of its Nissan Juke commercial, it looks like someone at the Japanese company has yanked its videos of the motorcycle-eating CUV from the internet. With the videos on YouTube and Vimeo now set to “private” and requiring a password to watch, it would seem that Nissan wisely doesn’t want you to see one of its latest promotions of the Juke, where a computer animated version of the Nissan Juke turns the tables on the “predatory” motorcycles, and hunts them down by running-over the motorcyclists. The pièce de résistance to this motorcyclist massacre is that the Juke’s motorcycle-inspired center console is in fact a trophy from one of the CUV’s many kills from the video. We seriously couldn’t make this up if we tried, and yet that very storyboard somehow made its way through an ad agency pitch.

Getting a proper roasting here at Asphalt & Rubber, we can only imagine that the frustration vented by motorcyclists in our comments showed a glimpse into the emails that Nissan recieved from the advertisement. Luckily one of our readers here at A&R shared with us the response they got from Nissan Canada, the branch responsible for the online Nissan Juke campaign in question. The reply confirms that the videos are in the process of being removed, though we’re not sure the duration of the campaign, nor its “super-natural” fell has much relevancy to the situation, and it certainly does not ease the fact that Nissan is showing an automobile maliciously run-over motorcyclists.

Considering that many of the members of the motorcycle community can share a common story about how a negligent or road-raged driver has nearly run them of the road (or worse, succeeded in that endeavor), we stand behind our position that Nissan probably could have picked a better way to make references to motorcycling-inspired design elements than what the company produced in this “trophy” storyline. A copy Nissan Canada’s response, with redacted names, is after the jump.

Dear ***********:

Thank you for comments regarding the advertising clip for the Nissan JUKE you recently viewed on ‘YouTube’.

The advert you have made reference to in your recent email has been run by Nissan in Canada for the past 12 months as part of a fantasy-inspired promotional campaign.

We at Nissan Canada wish to advise you that the advertising campaign featuring fantasy-inspired digital videos was created exclusively for online audiences, to showcase the unique design and performance of the Nissan Juke, including the motorcycle-inspired design elements of the car.

The clips were purposefully created in a supernatural setting so as not to draw on the reality of reckless driving and its consequences, which Nissan would in no way wish to promote.

Please accept my apologies on behalf of Nissan for any distress that this advertising campaign may have caused you. I can confirm that the advert is being removed by Nissan Canada from its ‘YouTube Channel’ .

We appreciate you taking time to get in touch with us to share your concerns, and would like to assure you of our commitment to road safety for both drivers of our vehicles, and other road users and that Nissan do not condone or promote carless driving under any circumstances.

Sincerely yours,

Consumer Relations Representative
Nissan Canada Inc.

  • Matt

    Since the online Juke commercial is inspired by video games why stop there? Let’s protest every game that allows the player to drive recklessly on or around motorcycles like Race to the Rally or Grand Theft Auto . Or boycott every movie that depicts violence against motorcyclists like ‘Torque’ & ‘Hell Ride’.

    You see where I am going with this? =)

  • Jonathan Garrish

    “Nissan do not condone or promote carless driving under any circumstances.”

    Heh, Freudian slip of the week.

    Congratulations to all those who complained and succeeded in getting this tacky ad pulled. I guess the corporate mumbo jumbo from Nissan is the closest we will get to an apology.

  • BikePilot

    I didn’t see a problem with the commercial, some folks are just way too whiny. Nissan should have just done a second one involving an enormous amount of cheese.

  • Jonathan Garrish

    I guess that what grinds my gears the most is that motorcycle commercials tend to be such gutless affairs – the motorcycle industry tends to be so timid and politically correct because it lives in fear of offending anyone, whilst the car industry will resort to anything to sell it’s soulless little tin boxes.

    Plus there are far too many car drivers who regard motorcyclists as pond life already. I don’t see how the Nissan ad does anything to help that.

  • Nobody

    Now if they’d only pull the Juke.

  • six3seven

    Ha! If it weren’t for all the bandstanding by motorcycle blogs, I’d never heard of the Nissan Juke.

    Excellent advertising. Well done to the agency, you got the Juke more air play than such an uninspiring vehicle would have received on it’s own.

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  • GeddyT

    I’m with the first poster. Nobody takes commercials seriously. It’s not like somebody is going to intentionally hunt down a motorcyclist with their car because they’ve seen this. The ad fails for a million reasons (making no sense, for instance), but for me one of them is NOT that it’s “offensive.” If the ad featured cars hunting motorcycles but was actually funny or well made or made sense, I’d say, “Great ad, Nissan.”

  • Leyobahn

    To you twats who can’t see what all the fuss is about? Simple. You don’t ride a bike or have to deal with all the twats that we do every fooking day!

    This ad is a computer generated “fantasy” ad? Why not have the next one showing a computer generated car mowing old people down on the sidewalk and scoring points? “The New Nissin Juke… Death Race 2000 made REAL!”. Would be funny in a parody, but they are not aiming for humour, they are trying to sell cars. Fuck Nissin and fuck you for saying this is acceptable!

  • mark

    I was broadsided by an SUV a month ago today, breaking my right femur in three places. It was purely an accident, caused not by any sort of maliciousness, but by a simple failure of either of us, apparently, to see the other due to obscured sightlines. As a result I spent two and a half weeks in the hospital and won’t be able to put weight on my right leg for another four weeks.

    We already face enough dangers on the road. The last thing we need is for the sort of young drivers the Juke is aimed at to think it’s somehow funny to mess with motorcyclists.

  • Richard Gozinya

    Leyobahn, what do you have against ramen noodles?

  • sunstroke

    I’ve gone over the hood of two SUV’s in my life, and in both instances I was lucky to escape unscathed. An ad that glorifies slamming motorcyclists with a real production car (CGI-rendered or not) is bad taste.

    Some things don’t play out even if it’s fantasy. Glorifying domestic violence doesn’t work. Glorifying racism doesn’t work. Glorifying intentional collisions with motorcyclists doesn’t work either. I’m sure we could all list 20 things that still aren’t admirable in the world of fiction. If they are being used to sell consumer goods, people will protest adamantly.

    I wonder why Nissan didn’t censor themselves before the ad was released to the public.

  • SBPilot

    well put Sunstroke!

  • Reductio ad Absurdum

    I’m not sure which I find more offensive: that Nissan made a commercial about how great their car is at running down motorcycles or that they think we are stupid enough to believe a POS Juke could hope to keep up with a bike that was trying to get away.

    That just got me thinking about an even better ad! Juke vs Bicycles! How much would you like to see a too cool hipster, complete with messenger bag and “fixie” bike, get mangled by a Juke.

    Lets keep going! New ad: “Juke, Urban Warfare Edition”. The commercial shows a Juke tricked out with a cow-catcher on the front to take care of those pesky pedestrians, Ben Hur style spikes attached to the wheels and an oil-slick-cannon (sponsored by BP)!

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  • Steve Lang

    They should re-name it “The Joke”. Idiots!

  • Matt

    How about the new Icon video where the motorcyclists destroyed the car??!!

  • bucky

    OK Game On, lets live up to nissan’s stunted imagination, ethics and cynical tactics to sell their krap to ball-less cage drivers. From now on, all jukes are fair game for getting their mirrors kicked off and paint scraped as we lane split by.

  • Dale

    I’ve had two bike accidents, one where a car pulled out in front of me, ran a stop sign, and another where a suv turned in front of me no signal. Many would think I’d be ticked at a video that ”glorifies” chasing down a motorcyclists. I’m not ticked in any way, shape or form by this advertisement and I’ve sent an email to Nissan to that effect because I get the ad. She was chasing down a thief on a motorcycle, not a motorcyclist. There is a difference in the focus, of the advertisement. Only the obtuse are missing this. This isn’t forest for the trees, people aren’t even seeing the forest.