Nissan made sure its costly entry in Super Bowl XXXI wouldn’t be missed. It stocked its minute-long action-movie spoof with pigeons, one voiced by “Cheers” actor John Ratzenberger, on a mission to spoil the appearance of a black Nissan Maxima. It’s not a product-focused ad, but it hits the Super Bowl’s demand for maximum entertainment head-on. "I like that coming-out-of-the-sun shot,” TBWA Chiat/Day Executive Producer Richard O’Neill said during the ad’s creation, according to a Washington Post article then. “That's like the shot in ‘Tora! Tora! Tora!' when they're flying in over the valley.”
Tom Muldoon, an editor, compared it to “Apocalypse Now.” The result was an ad you wanted to watch until the last frame, Ad Age critic Bob Garfield wrote. The spot took third place in USA Today’s annual Super Bowl Ad Meter evaluating entertainment value, won a Bronze Lion in Film at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival later that year and wound up on admiring retrospectives such as Jalopnik’s “Top 11 Super Bowl Car Commercials of All Time” -- and there have been a lot of car commercials in the Super Bowl. (Nissan confronted Porsche, Cadillac and Honda in Super Bowl XXXI alone, and that was a relatively light year for the auto category.)
“The concept is completely relatable, the animation is hilarious and it makes the Maxima look great,” Jalopnik wrote. Nissan’s next appearance in the Super Bowl came in 2015, when it rolled out “With Dad,” part of that year’s general theme of “dadvertising.”
Director: Steve Beck. Creative director: Rob Siltanen.