Nissan Says, 'Symmetry Sucks'

April 15, 2010
European ad for the Nissan Cube 'Symmetry Sucks' campaign

European ad for the Nissan Cube 'Symmetry Sucks' campaign

European ad for the Nissan Cube 'Symmetry Sucks' campaign

European ad for the Nissan Cube 'Symmetry Sucks' campaign

Angular Rear Exterior View - 2010 Nissan Cube 5dr Wagon CVT S

Angular Rear Exterior View - 2010 Nissan Cube 5dr Wagon CVT S

Last year, the Nissan Cube shoehorned itself into what's become a very crowded field. Technically, that field is known as that of the "mini multi-purpose vehicle" (aka, the mini MPV), but given the youth-oriented styling and social-networking features of the Cube and its competitors, we sometimes refer to them as Facebook CityBoxes.

Whether Nissan would enter the segment was almost a foregone conclusion. Like EVs and plug-in hybrids, nearly every major automaker in the western world has brought a mini MPV to market in recent years. Since its launch, the Cube has been fairly well accepted by critics -- our own Bengt Halvorson gave both the 2009 and 2010 models a solid 8 out of 10 -- and consumers seem to like it, too. According to Nissan, 4,218 Cubes were sold in March of 2010, compared with 5,106 Kia Souls and 1,630 Scion xBs. Not too shabby.

Here in the U.S., the Cube has been branded as a boxy, convenient partymobile for Millennials, but now it's time for Nissan to launch the Cube in Europe, and to do that, the company's advertising has taken a more highbrow tone. There, Nissan is appealing to design snobs with its new "Symmetry Sucks" campaign.

We might not always be high-minded at TCC -- in fact, the opposite is probably true nine times out of ten -- but we love this campaign. Part of what sets the Cube apart from its competitors is its bold, asymmetrical rear view, and given the model's increasing number of competitors, having a visual advantage like that is key to strong recognition and sales. The "Symmetry Sucks" ads drive that point home with fairly simple Photoshoppery and dead-on styling. We're not sure the campaign would play so well in the U.S., but we're hoping it'll fare fine across the pond. And given the vast number of small models on the road there, it better.

For more details about this portion of Nissan's European campaign for the Cube, check the credits and (weirdly worded) blurb below.

* * * * *

Client : Nissan Europe
Jean-Pierre Diernaz : Marketing Communications General Manager
Caroline Mechaï : Advertising & Media Manager

Agency: TBWA\G1 and TBWA\Paris
Alasdhair MacGregor Hastie : European Creative Director
Eric Noël & Rémi Holden: Executive Creative Director
Ewan Veitch : Executive Managing Director
Ingrid Varetz : Art Director
Glenn Troadec : Copy Writer
Alexandra Chapuis: Art Director assistant
Carine Galluffo : Art buyer
Céline Duval: Account Director
Raphaël Bouquillon: Account Manager
Gaëlle Guillou: International traffic manager

Photographer: Cindy Gravelat
Photographer assistant: Oliver Fritz
Make-up & Hair: Alexandra Tshiteya

Nissan have just launched its new Cube car in Europe, the very first car conceived as much as a design product than a car. To promote the launch of this car, TBWA have created a print and outdoor campaign to promote the iconic design of the car to a design audience.

The sources of inspiration for the design of this car have been multiple, from a bulldog with sunglasses for the front bonnet to a fridge door for the backdoor. The result is a car with one of the most iconic and different design, the Cube designed by Nissan.

This gives the credibility to Cube to make it the perfect car for people with an appeal for design and who like to challenge their mind with interesting and unexpected visuals.

To promote the launch of this car and to communicate on its specific design, TBWA\Paris & TBWA\G1 have produced a first series of 3 print visuals.

Those print ads demonstrate how symmetry is boring and suck to dramatize one of the most iconic design aspect of the car, the asymmetry of its back. “The aim of the campaign is to start people thinking about the uniqueness of the Cube which flies in the face of standard car design” as said by TBWA\G1’s creative director Alasdhair McGregor Hastie.

This print has been shot in Paris by the French photographer Cindy Gravelat, working with Ingrid Varetz & Glenn Troadec the two creatives who conceived it. 

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