Finally! A Nissan Leaf Global Ad That Everyone Understands

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In a few months’ time, the Nissan Leaf electric car will have been on sale in the U.S. for two years. 

While a steady--if slow--stream of Leafs have left dealers all over the U.S. since, Nissan, like some of its rivals, has struggled to find the right way of advertising its first plug-in car. 

Until now. 

In a new ad due to be aired globally, Nissan has left behind Polar Bears, gas-powered office equipment, and strange art installations in favor of a much simpler message based around one question. 

What if?

“What if you could drive the future today?,” the ad asks. “What if you could check on your car from your phone, and switch on the air conditioning remotely?”

“What if you could drive with zero emissions, and you never had to stop for petrol ever again?,” it continues, over a video of a Leaf owners doing everyday things in their everyday Nissan Leafs.

The video even touches on some of the best aspects to owning an electric car, from never having to visit the gas station to having your car recharge while you do something else--like grab lunch.

The ad itself follows the same simplistic, almost minimalist ad style that Apple uses in its iPad and iPhone commercials.

With simple, unhurried voice-over, clear video, and an upbeat but nonintrusive backing track, the ad leaves the viewer wanting to know more. 

After two years, has Nissan finally figured out how to sell its plug-in car?

What do you think? Is this the simple, understandable Leaf ad campaign Nissan has been missing for the past two years?

Or is it still too confusing? 

Leave your thoughts in the comments below.  


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Comments (26)
  1. I just bought one :)

  2. Good ad, but I won't buy one. It's overpriced and under-ranged...

  3. What price and range suits you?

  4. Johny, you need to consider ALL costs. You can lease the car for $200/Mo. Is this expensive? I don't think so. Depending on how much you drive, it can, in some times be free, if you consider the cost of gas. As a thumb rule, the Leaf will cost you about 10% or less in electricity comparing to an average gasoline car. You also need to consider that there are (almost) no maintenance costs. No oil to change. No carburetor, and no radiator or water pump to replace every few years. Now do the math again...

  5. I loved the old ads with the gas-powered appliances. It was brilliant and showed the superiority of electricity for many tasks. Unfortunately, it targeted the Volt, which I believe was misguided. Nissan should have been promoting the new paradigm of electric driving, instead of sniping at the competition.

    I also like the new LEAF ad. EVs need to appeal to more than just the greenies and the early adopters. They need to appeal to everyday folks, who need to get around, without being stuck somewhere. That's a message that needs to be repeated many times for the people who are skeptical of EVs.

  6. Its a good ad but no better than the earlier ones.Each of them had an important message to get across and did so

  7. I like the ad. Promotes the every day car aspect that the Leaf is perfect for. I also like the ending, where the car powers up the house - that will add interest, although it will likely not be used much in the USA. If Nissan conntinues to give away electricity to charge the Leaf, I would have to consider using the car to power the house though. Very nice thought - buy electricity where it is cheap and then use it at home.

  8. Nissan is not giving away electricity. You fail to understand the point of plugging your car into your house. It's not a worthwhile use of electric car batteries. It only makes sense in an emergency.

  9. but it makes a great complement to solar arrays. if you have rooftopsolar and can charge at work, and use the car to bootstrap the house,

    it may work

  10. No, it doesn't make sense at all. Using the $30K car to shuffle $3 worth of electricity and requiring the $3K interface to power your home for half a day during the outage that happens every 3 years doesn't make sense. Complementing the scheme with the solar array doesn't make sense either. If it made financial sense then the poorest of the poor would be doing it but so far it's the rich people's toys as Bill Gates put it bluntly and it makes sense to them. But they're not doing the world any favors when you get down to it... I love my LEAF and all but c'mon...

  11. It's a great ad because it simply shows what the Leaf can do that gasoline cars can't and its just the things that a lot of people can relate to.

  12. Yes!! At last! It's probably not so easy to fight with fuel companies, so it is a big respect to Nissan!

  13. LEAFs were moving slowly but unreal lease terms has really changed the game. there are actually reports of dealers selling out and having to restart lists again.

    Johnny; sorry you feel that way but that is ok. the LEAF is not for everyone. it only fits the daily driving need of "only" 89% of the population.

  14. We all need to move to the new future cars asap ! oil in the earth is made to keep the core to spinning,Japan earthquake and big sink holes are the proven fact that gas cars are like termites to are planet,when was the last time someone felt a earthquake wave where it rolls under us its been years, do you really think it spins from no lube just rock to rock it would freeze up with out oil,we need to switch to a new future !

  15. I've not heard it before but cool theory :-)

  16. Liked the ad. Nissan should focus on everyday folks doing everyday things in their LEAF. Bought one three weeks ago today!

  17. We need to shut down all oil pipe lines ,the earths core spins off oil ! Japans earthquakes and sink hole are the signs that Gas cars are like termites to the earth!!!

  18. Nissan should offer a range-extender-suitcase, wich can be put in the trunk, if people are uncertain by longer trips and leave it in the garage by short distances. It should be a fuel cell or an emergency generator, approximately 20 kW, 30 kg.

  19. 20KW Fuel Cell would take up the entire trunk and cost about $15k.

    20KW motor with generator is about $5k and weigh somewhere in the 500lbs-700lbs range.

    A Leaf with range extender is pretty much a Volt, isn't it?

  20. There is a good business opportunity. A Trailer for extending the range. Leave it on charge normally, then for a long journey, just hook up and off you go. I have seen these.

  21. Oh you people with your damn ice and battery trailer range extenders! Both ideas are such jokes and not feasible...ridiculous actually. Here is the best range extender that costs nothing and takes up no additional space:
    wait six months for the refreshed, made in USA, 2013 Leaf to arrive in showrooms with a at least a 20% better range.

  22. Less price and more range and I'll buy one.

  23. give it some time.

    lease one now, in 3 years turn it in, get a better one

  24. Local EV club member kept his refrig running by tapping off the 12v battery into a 2kW inverter during hurricane Sandy in Wash DC area. could run fridge for 3.5 days and get hot coffee in morning, then drive to any of 139 charge stations locally recharge in 5-6 hrs and have another 3.5 days. 24kW traction battery keeps 12v battery charged

  25. Local EV club member ran his fridge off his Leaf. tapped 2kW inverter off 12v battery. traction battery kept it full and he could run fridge for 3.5 days

  26. Yes it is too confusing. What is the purpose of this ad? Certainly not to sell electric cars.
    It is not true that all manufacturers struggled with the way to advertise an electric car. The ad for the Chevy Volt is right on, and people understand and remember the car. Much less remember the Nissan Leaf which is a better car (I have both, so I can tell).

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