Saturday, April 28, 2012

Nissan's GI Joe Kicked Ken's Butt TV Ads

I'm starting to get the 1/6th scale itch again.  I still have my Charlie Chan project that I need to finish.  Only thing that I've done to him since my last post about that figure project was the fact that I finally got around to painting the 'Oddjob' bowler hat white today.  I still need to paint Charlie's eyes and get him some decent shoes to "finish" that project.

But, surfing the web using MacDonalds free wi-fi today, I came across Patches of Pride word press blog and their April 5, 2012 posting about the famous Nissan Ads that showed G.I. Joe getting it on with a Barbie clone and leaving ole Ken clone in the dust. The reference section below has the Patches of Pride link to this article.

This was Nissan's "Enjoy the Ride" promotion and the two ads where done in tradional stop motion animation style.  Quote:  New York Daily News, Advertising Age executive Scott Donaton was quoted as saying, “The Nissan ad is like a minimovie, and it’s probably better than most of the programs on TV.” end quote.

Those mini-movies were created by Rob Siltanen, of the TBWA Chiat/Day agency in Venice, California.  Quoting him:  “Nissan said, ‘Let’s do something different, let’s break the rules,’ To a creative person, that’s as close to nirvana as it gets.” end quote.

The first mini-movie featured the new 300ZX sportscar and that took 11 weeks to film.  And the song "You Really Got Me" from Van Halen was just right.  The G.I. Joe like figure coems to life in the boy's bedroom and he jumps down to get into the Nissan 300ZX and goes roaring off to visit the girl's bedroom.  The non-Barbie was wearing a tennis outfit and her boyfirend "Tad" is dismay to see his girlfriend dump him for Joe driving the sportscar.  Then the Nissan logo comes up.

The second mini-movie commercial featured Nissan's Pathfinder and had the KISS song, "Calling Dr. Love." I don't ever remember seeing this particular ad before.

In the Daily News article, the author writes that the production company used 8-inch plastic doll figures, not the 12" G.I. Joe figures. So, the ad maybe was made with 8" inch Mego figures or it could have been the 12" inch ones from Hasbro and Mattel.

Despite the appeal of the commercials, Mattel objected to Ken being treated the way he was and the Nissan "Enjoy the Ride" ad campaign was suspended.  And I also didn't realized until I wrote this post that my last Charlie Chan update was back in 2009!

1. Patches of Pride (wordpress blog). "REMEMBERING NISSAN’S GIJOE VS KEN TV ADS (1996)" (
2. NY Daily News. "A Car Ad That Floors Viewers Nissan's New Doll-driven Commercial Is Superb Tv, And It's Been Getting As Much Attention As Any Show Out There" BY ROBERT DOMINGUEZ. October 29, 1996.  (
3. Flash Force 255 Bunker.  Charlie Chan update (

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