While the general consensus is that you shouldn’t believe everything you see on the Internet or TV, automotive manufacturers have a certain amount of responsibility to represent their factory products honestly. Unfortunately, according to Consumerist.com, Nissan is in hot water for supposedly doing the opposite in a TV commercial involving its 2011 Frontier. So what’s all the hype about? Well, check out the commercial for yourself above and see if you can spot the issue.
The TV commercial in question depicts a 2011 Nissan Frontier coming to the rescue of a dune buggy that can’t quite make it over the crest of the steep sand dune its attempting to conquer. Filmed in a “viral video” style, the commercial shows the buggy struggling prior to the Frontier flying up the hill to come to its aid, getting both truck and buggy up and over the dune.
Now, for those of you with good eyesight, you’ll notice that right from the beginning of the commercial, there is a “Fictionalization. Do not attempt” disclaimer floating around in right field, and if you’re really observant, you’ll notice the truck never makes contact with the buggy before they both power up the rest of the hill (conveniently during a split-second of unfocused filming). But the Federal Trade Commission still sees this commercial as falsely representing features of the Frontier. In layman’s terms- your standard factory Nissan Frontier of the 2011 model year won’t be able to rescue your friend’s dune buggy in this manner if it happens to get stuck.
While most consumers would probably catch on to the fact that the commercial is an exaggeration, the FTC is still slapping the wrists of both Nissan and the ad agency responsible for the advertisement. The result is a settlement that now prohibits Nissan and the TBWA ad agency from using “deceptive demonstrations” in truck advertisements, even though it is already illegal. So basically, the FTC wanted to make an example out Nissan for this “fictionalization.”