Nissan Dives Headfirst Into Hip-Hop, Hits Head


It's always a little risky when major corporations try to wedge themselves into a subculture that hasn't invited them in.

Hiphop-Ads hustles us in the direction of the latest leg of Nissan's "SHIFT" campaign, entitled "SHIFT_Respect." (Insert cringe here.) With a highlight on the Tokyo hip-hop subculture, the campaign aims to illustrate the iffy ethos, "The Black Experience is everywhere."

It's a fine line Nissan walks. "The Black Experience is everywhere"? It just pokes nerves all around - among those sensitive about what it is to be black, those who feel Asians and other non-white or black minorities do nothing but throw themselves behind majority trends, and those concerned about the commoditization of hip-hop.

Did you have to say The Black Experience is everywhere? Who knows, maybe it's genius. At least it starts a conversation. We'll totally ignore the fact that it's a conversation that gets rehashed more than the sum total of celebutrash trolling bars without panties.

Written by Angela Natividad    Comments (4)     File: Campaigns, Magazine, Opinion     Mar-22-07  
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arful. they should be fired.

Posted by: Alice Underwaude on March 23, 2007 10:08 AM

Technically, Angela, itís not really accurate to say Nissan is trying to wedge itself into a subculture. The brand has actually been trying to wedge itself into Black culture for many years, mostly through the efforts of its Black agency ó The True Agency in California. That aside, this ad is irrelevant garbage.

Posted by: HighJive on March 24, 2007 09:46 PM

Funny, obviously trying to follow Scion's lead on this and failing miserably. I thought the period of "hip-hop ads" was almost over, but I guess agencies are absolutely determined to milk it for absolutely every penny its worth. Oh well, thats what inevitably happens with the genre du jour, look out indy rock!

Posted by: D/R on March 26, 2007 03:07 PM

Clients seem to think that they need to hire a black agency like TRUE to do ads for black consumers because only black people can understand black culture. That in itself is a racist belief since black people are not all the same, and they do not all like the same things. These types of agencies (Latino as well) just use their skin color or ethnicities as a license to produce mediocre and insulting work. A "true" creative person can advertise to anyone, no matter their skin color.

Posted by: peeet on March 26, 2007 03:31 PM

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