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Nissan Sentra Commercial - "Total Eclipse of the Heart" - My Humble Analysis

I am not posing as a marketing expert, although I have always loved learning about marketing and advertisting, and I took every class on the subject when I was in college, and I've read so many books on this topic that my wife wonders when I will write one. 

Having said that, as a consumer who has watched entirely too much TV in my lifetime, I do feel uniquely qualified to analyze commercials. Yesterday, I saw the ad below several times while watching NFL football. It's a 30-second spot for the 2014 Nissan Sentra. It features a group of 20-something friends headed to Vegas. They get so caught up in singing "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler, they end up missing their exit and have to re-navigate. 

While I applaud Nissan for using a classic tune for this ad, it did make me wonder if that song has experienced a recent resurgence in popularity, or if they actually used it to appeal to the parents of the kids driving in the car. The song is nearly 32 years old, which by my estimate means that NONE of the people in the car were even born when it was released. That's fine, because I like plenty of music that was released before I was around, but I don't remember ever singing it at full volume with a group of male and female friends. They are having an absolute blast, and it did make me long for this experience, although I am in my 40's now and I don't know who would be willing to do this with me, other than my wife, or my kids, both of whom are a captive audience, literally.

To give a quick example, if we assume that the people in the car are an average of 27 years of age, then this would equate to a group of my friends blasting "Wooly Bully" or "Help Me, Rhonda" at full volume (both were released 5 years before I was born). Both are fun songs, but they are anachronistic for my generation. I can imagine singing to either one, I guess, but not with such abandon and not with friends around, frankly. There was another tune released in 1965 that I do actually remember singing with my friends: "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" by the Righteous Brothers. However, I did that because the song played a prominent role in "Top Gun" and featured a group of men singing it to a beautiful woman in a bar. I was 16 that year. Just giving a bit of perspective.

Overall, I really like the ad. It features true joy and youthful fun, and it showcases the car well. I still think it's funny to imagine this particular vignette actually happening, though. 

1983 was a great year for music, including "Billie Jean" AND "Beat It", along with "Every Breath You Take", "Down Under" by Men at Work, and "Maneater". However, it was also filled with some, well, less appropriate songs for group singing. Here are some other tunes they could have chosen from the same year (try to imagine ANY of these in the commercial - it might make you laugh, too):

"Pass the Dutchie" by Musical Youth

"Truly" by Lionel Richie

"Baby Come to Me" by Patti Austin & James Ingram

 
I welcome your input below. Have a great day!

 

 

If you're looking for a home in the Austin area, you can also visit my primary website at www.austintexashomes.com.  Thanks!

Comment balloon 9 commentsJason Crouch • November 17 2014 10:23AM

Comments

I missed the commercials I guess. I am a channel flipper so I rarely watch ads.  Still, use of the old song may have been targeted as you suggest.

Posted by Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC, ... a small office, delivering big service! (Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC) almost 3 years ago

Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC  - I was doing some other stuff while the game was on, so I didn't really bother to change channels. The ad must have played at least 10 times.

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) almost 3 years ago

I think the song pick was random and had nothing to do with the age group in the car. That commercial I would have ignored totally. THIS one in the car area however was HILARIOUS by Ellen and was not even a real commercial.

 

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) almost 3 years ago

I would think they want you to think that owning that car would be a total eclipse of the heart.  You would be over the moon in love with it...And I don't think they expected anyone to pick it apart and try and figure out it was older than the actors and actesses playing the part....

Posted by Evelyn Johnston, The People You Know, Like and Trust! (Friends & Neighbors Real Estate) almost 3 years ago

Gary - I don't think ANYTHING is random when it comes to spending millions of dollars on TV ads during NFL games. I couldn't actually ignore it because they played it incessantly yesterday. Nice commercial with Ellen.  :)

Evelyn - I think you're giving them way too much credit on the meaning of the song. Honestly, I think it's THEIR job to pick it apart before they put it on the air. I'm just observant.

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) almost 3 years ago

     We don't have television, so I missed the ad.  Your point about the song being out of date to the people singing it is good.  Somebody goofed.

Posted by Fred Griffin, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) almost 3 years ago

Made popular again in the movie "Old School" 2003?

Posted by Lou Lynch almost 3 years ago

Hello Jason,  I do like the video commercial and since most people react to vision for emotional connect the song must provide some another form of connection the advertising gurus saw. The word VEGAS caught my attention not the kids or the song. funny how we all have different connects.

Posted by Bob Ratliff, "Sold with Bob" (Renowned Realty ) almost 3 years ago

Often the ad is memorable, it gets studied, branded in the brain from the frequency. But even though an ad is catchy, clever if you are asked what is the product, there can be a pregnant pause. Can not remember but liked the ad, the skitch. My favorite for recognition of what the brand is still is "Jake, Jake from State Farm". The advertiser is named by the guy, the gal a number of times so no doubt who paid for the 30 sec ROS ad rotation insertion.

Posted by Andrew Mooers, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) almost 3 years ago

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