There are a lot of car commercials out there on TV and the web, most of them unremarkable in terms of story. At least 75% of them seem to feature good-looking people driving aimlessly around the deserted streets of downtown Los Angeles early on a Sunday morning. So it’s a rare pleasure to discover one that transcends the genre with a simple twist.
It begins with a shot of a garage door rising to reveal the massive grille of a dark blue Infiniti QX60, a “crossover” luxury vehicle. The driver, a well-dressed, good-looking male hunk, shoots his cuffs, starts the car and turns up the volume on “The Baddest Man Alive”, a bluesy song by the Grammy award-winning rock duo The Black Keys.
The driver pulls out of the garage and down the driveway of a cool Craftsman-inspired modern luxury home perched on a mountaintop. He looks smug as he drives across a narrow bridge over a marshland and heads towards civilization. Is he on his way to a heavy date, an important meeting, a European vacation? I already loath this guy in the way I loath the smug, well-dressed driver played by actor Matthew McConaughey in a slew of Lincoln commercials.
The driver enters a richly-rustic suburban neighborhood, stops in front of a leafy estate and rolls down the window. Then the commercial flips the story.
Four pretty pre-teen girls, fresh from a backyard pool party, are waiting for him. One says “Hi Dad!” and they pile into the back seat. Dad smiles and says “Hi guys. How was the pool?” Suddenly you can’t hate him. He’s no longer just another rich hunk coddled by a $40,000 luxury car. He’s a dad doing what a good dad does, picking up his daughter and her friends when he could be doing something less mundane and so much more important.
It’s that story twist that allows this ad to transcend the luxury car genre, and perhaps convince a potential buyer that you can be a dad and the baddest man alive at the same time. Infiniti once tried to transcend the genre by not showing the sheet metal. This time they got it right.