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Kim likes it big, but viewers do not 

has pulled its latest from screens, after complaints—despite the being approved by the Television Commercial Approvals’ Bureau prior to their airing.
   The worst this ever got was Cattrall saying how the (Verso in the US) was bigger than she thought and good it felt inside.
   The Associated Press has Cattrall’s lines:

“Why didn't you tell me it was so big? I just wasn’t prepared for it,” she gushes. “The all-new Nissan Tiida makes you feel really, really, really good inside.”
   She tells a salesman: “Ah! That was amazing. Absolutely fabulous! I mean the great body and the way you moved it.”

   After so many seasons of , a cultural phenomenon of sorts which included using the f-word on , these complaints seem on the part of Kiwi viewers.
   I am all for , but I would rather Kim have her , nothing new on New Zealand telly, than some of the crap that passes for programming.
   Put it like this: if you are an eight-year-old and you get the jokes, then you are a bloody filthy eight-year-old. (When I was eight—heck, when I was twelve—I would have been none the wiser.) Parents who fear that their kids are getting the wrong idea need to look to themselves to see if they really are , rather than blame a Japanese-French automaker. If they, as adults, are getting offended because things were not like this 30 years ago, then I question how observant they were.

Del.icio.us tags: Nissan Nissan Tiida Kim Cattrall humour double entendres advertisement TV commercial innuendo
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Hi Jack,

I read your blog for its thoughtful take on marketing etc, but I find myself utterly puzzled by this post.

Why is the lowest common denominator of car marketing suddenly a good thing? Hardly cutting edge stuff, no?

As for the idea that parents are to blame if their kids pick up on the double entendres, that is plain stupid. TV is very influential on young minds, and teaching them this kind of drivel has no upside I can think of.

I am not on a moralist high-horse, I just think you should spend your time helping to move marketing and advertising in a positive rather than negative direction.

Sorry to sound so preachy, but I despair when I see ads like this in the C21st.

Lee Bryant  
Lee, I know we’ll disagree from time to time. I don’t say that this ad is a good one. I do say that if viewers have tolerated far worse, then this commercial is harmless.
   It’s not a great commercial, it isn’t the sort of TVC I would have made (I cover this in an earlier post where I argue that transparency is a far better technique for a same-again Japanese hatchback), but it is being taken off because a bunch of people have gotten too sensitive about something that few normally bat an eyelid over.
   Of the three in the Nissan Tiida series here that I know of, this one is less offensive. If I had to complain, there was an earlier one where Cattrall gets into a car and seems to have an overly pleasurable experience driving it. Yet that faced no complaints from the so-called guardians among our viewing public. Maybe cries of orgasmic joy and Kim seeing the word ‘Hump’ on a sign didn’t upset these complainants as deeply.
   I don’t know who has actually complained over these advertisements, but I assume they are either parents or moralists complaining about declining standards.
   The standards have not declined because such commercials have always been part of our television landscape. There were far worse, and they lasted far longer, than this one.
   However, your judgement that my viewpoint is ‘plain stupid’ goes far. Maybe our contexts differ. And I do not absolve television completely, Lee. Of course TV, and the agencies, have something to answer.
   But I would not have got these jokes as a child, no matter how influential TV is.
   Parents should teach their children a sense of values. I do not believe it is the function of the state. And if they did, children would probably not be exposed to material which would allow them to understand just what the double entendres refer to, at least not before their time.
   Television is only ‘very influential on young minds’ if we permit it to be; and while I certainly was influenced, from a young age I knew the difference between fact and fiction, that committing the sort of crimes a villain did on a serial was wrong, and that there were consequences to all misdeeds. It was explained to me.
   Therefore, I will concede that if a child spends hours staring at TV violence or sex, then he or she may wish to act out what was seen—but I only concede this in households lacking parental influence and teaching. I have an inkling that studies bear out this viewpoint.
   TV could not possibly teach children this ‘drivel’, because well parented children simply would not understand it.
   Perhaps you could enlighten me on just how some children would come to understand the double entendres in the commercial. You are a parent, I am not, so I do not by any means say I am totally right and you are totally wrong.
   This discussion is still productive for marketing, and regardless of the advancement of our profession, the world would be rather dull if we did rid ourselves of humour.  
First off, sorry if my languauge was too blunt - I know you're not stupid ;-)

I amm all for humour, and I don't get particularly exercised by the usual pointless, sexist rubbish that the advertising industry pumps put - I think I was just disappointed that you thought it should be defended.

However well you bring up kids, they always have other influences. For example: at school, if older boys who see this ad take to mimicking it then a younger girl (e.g.) might well come to understand the meaning.

It's not even the sex refs I object to, it is just the sheer sexism of car ads perpetuating the myth that women are sex objects who get turned on by a fast car.

I am all for humour, even playful humour; I just hope the 'conversation' between car makers and buyers can become a little less trashy.

I still love you, BTW ;-)  
Lee, no worries, but as you can see I can get defensive.
   But I did want to hear your point of view on influences on children, too, especially as I have no real experience other than having been a child—and having reasonably conscientious parents who did monitor what I watched.
   Normally I would not defend sexist crap or any of these dull commercials; my main point was really that there were more harmful things out there, even in this very series of commercials (which I only got to point out in the earlier comment), and the complainants should have wasted their time on those.
   You are right, of course, about the lack of imagination these sorts of commercials possess. They are just over-commercialized and unfunny items that are very last-century. Sadly, we see a great deal of these over here that get imported from Australia—most of the corniest, tritest stuff on our screens seems to emanate from there.
   My original post on marketing this car was how dull the US web site for it was, using same-again copy to flog what is basically a stretched Renault Clio.
   I’m not sore to see the commercial’s demise from our screens, but I do feel my original point could have been far better made.  
This sounds extremely lame. Like you said, most kids aren't going to have a CLUE what Kim's going on about.

Usually the controversy we create when we try to shield kids from this kind of thing is exactly what makes them curious about it in the first place.  
Nicole, my position is the same as yours, and I am glad that Lee and I eventually found our common ground—that it wasn’t so much the ad, but the sheer lack of imagination of the ad.
   I also agree that it is in the shielding that the curiosity first becomes aroused. My parents always talked to me like an adult, which helped, and I had the “where babies come from” talk very early, while still at primary school. (I wasn’t told, exactly, how sperm got from the father to the mother, but just what was needed for a baby to start growing inside the mother.) No shame, no hang-ups. And I didn’t become a pervert.  
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Entries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
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