• Dec 10, 2010
Nissan Leaf website for kids – Click either image for high-res gallery

Nissan Leaf for kidsHow do you teach children that electric cars can be fun to use and good to drive? By explaining that they work pretty much just like any other car except that you "refuel" at home. At least that's the tactic that Nissan has taken with its "An Electric Vehicle In Our Home" sub-site, which features a cartoon family, backed by annoyingly peppy music enjoying their new electric car (a Leaf, natch).

The extremely irritating mini-site is designed to show how quiet the car is, how you can use it to go shopping, go visit grandpa, etc. It also has two "Nissan dealer representatives" who look an awful lot like a dog and a giraffe in suits. It's also a tremendously subtle site, with blink-and-you'll-miss-it lines like, "Electric vehicles are ... a choice for a future in which cars, the earth, and our kids can co-exist in harmony." Problem is, it also has some awkward moments, too, as seen in the screencaps above.

While we certainly applaud the educational effort, the execution is a bit cloying and occasionally overly simplistic to a fault – for instance, the cartoon parents conclude that if they care about the environment and the future, then they should probably choose a 100-percent electric car. That may be a suitable message for a site championing EVs, but what does this say about the buyers that choose all of Nissan's other vehicles? Also... "Thud"? Something has gotten lost in translation...

[Source: Nissan]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think they need to do one of these for the Mustang GT500.
        • 4 Years Ago

        Dad: "If I care about performance, my next car should probably have a 100% supercharged, 5.0-liter V8 engine!"

        Mom: "This car makes you vastly more attractive, and now you'll get to work on time. Maybe we won't get divorced, after all!"

        Kids: "Yay!"
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think this is almost as disgusting as that little smug git kid on the Toyota Highlander ad.

      I think it is completely insulting and inappropriate to target kids with propaganda to influence their parents or other adult buyers of a product that is required to be at least slightly adult-like to use and own. Buying a car is not a child's decision, and it is insulting to expect adults to be swayed by children who are not expected to be informed and responsible enough for a multi-thousand-dollar purchasing decision.

      Children's needs are an issue for adults to consider. It doesn't work the other way around.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well, the father in this cartoon doesn't have a pair and the kids probably aren't his. Also, there's a huge percentage of the population who buy cars because of the way they look, the color and it has a good stereo in it.

        You'd probably be pretty surprised at how many families cater to their bratty, overpriviledged spawn. True story: While driving home one day, a woman was pushing a stroller along a busy street in my neighborhood. Several cars had to make last minute maneuvers into the opposite lane to avoid hitting her (none honked, to my surprise). I pulled off to the side and asked her what she was doing. She replied that she's walking in the street because the lines in sidewalk caused the stroller to bump and she didn't want to disrupt the baby.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Also, apparently, if you buy a Leaf, Nissan employees will stalk you wherever you go while wearing freaky animal costumes.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's an ugly car, but potentially a game changer, who knows, might even be as revolutionary as the Model T was, and they're using a dog and a giraffe in suits to sell it?
        • 4 Years Ago
        No. According to the cartoon, it is a stylish and attractive car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Pictures 2 and 10: Why does the younger woman have saggier boobs and the old lady have perkier ones?

      Picture 9: Just what everyone wants; psycho killers in their rear view mirror.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If I had a family like this, I'd probably hang myself.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why do they all have ball gags in their mouths?
        • 4 Years Ago
        now that you said that it cannot be un-seen
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nice stereotypes Nissan. The father is passive and submissive to his domineering wife. The wife makes all of the important decisions. The brother is kind of dumb and can't remember anything. The sister is a know-it-all.

      The wife has a nice rack, but don't you dare interrupt her when she is talking:

      • 4 Years Ago
      Note to Americans: Stop trying to apply your social norms on other cultures and they will afford you the same courtesy. You think Hello Kitty and anime is cute, but when a car company does it, it's somehow "stupid" or "annoying."

      American exceptionalism is annoying, if you want to know the truth.
        • 4 Years Ago
        First of all, after a quick scan of the comments here, nobody actually called this campaign "stupid" or "annoying" before or after your comment was posted. Also, nobody identified themselves as American.

        Secondly, not liking advertising or saying it is annoying when it is being DIRECTED AT YOU is not "applying your social norms on other cultures ". It's called stating your opinion.

        Lastly, who the hell said Hello Kitty was cute?

        What evidence do you have that this campaign wasn't thought up by an American advertising firm? Your implication that it somehow reflects a cultural norm in Japan is specious. What "cultural norm" are you referring to? Can you be more specific about that? Is it because it's a cartoon and all Japanese people love cartoons? Seems like you are perpetuating a stereotype to me. Americans watch cartoons too. Maybe you were unaware.

        "If you want to know the truth," self righteous people who hate "Americans" and lump them all into one big group guilty of all the insensitivity in the world and then try to find every opportunity to spread that sentiment in situations where it isn't even relevant, are annoying.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A cartoon campaign for a cartoon looking car. Makes sense.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Very smart Nissan - get the spoiled kids pestering their well-off parents to "go green" so that they buy a Leaf to get them to shut up.
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