Better late than never.
A few weeks ago Google announced that Nissan North America’s “With Dad” Super Bowl XLIX commercial beat out all competition to win this year’s YouTube AdBlitz award.
Ordinarily, that might not merit attention now but there’s something extraordinary about the ad.
Combining a touching story line with the debut of future Nissan racing and production vehicles, the commercial has garnered nearly 22,400,000 views on YouTube, perhaps more, by the time you read this.
The story follows an up-and-coming race driver through his journey to the highest levels of motorsports competition, using a narrative soundtrack provided by Harry Chapin’s haunting “Cat’s in the Cradle,” according to Nissan. “It depicts the struggles of a father and mother to balance work and family while they raise their son. In the end, the cycle so well known in Chapin’s song is broken.”
“The tremendous response we’ve had to the commercial … mainly came down to creating a story that authentically resonated with our audience,” said Fred Diaz, senior vice president at Nissan North America. “In the commercial we saw both parents share equally in the courage, hard work and sacrifice required to keep the family strong – a struggle many people can relate to in their own daily lives.”
The vehicles highlighted in the commercial are the redesigned 2016 Maxima sports sedan, which debuts this week at the New York International Auto Show, and the somewhat awkwardly named GT-R LM Nismo LMP-1 race car, which will compete in the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship.
But the automaker has taken the popular success of “With Dad” a step further, producing a seven-minute-plus, behind-the-scenes video about the making of the 90-second commercial. It’s probably worth a look for any one of the more than 22 million people who saw the video on YouTube, not to mention the millions more who were touched by it during the Super Bowl.
It’s true that the commercial has critics, too – many citing the problem of absentee dads or the sadness of Chapin’s song – but we’ve provided both videos above so you can judge for yourself.
Before the Super Bowl, Nissan teased the theme of fatherhood through a series of films made in collaboration with popular YouTube content creators and released to their extensive fan bases. During the game, viewers were asked to post their own #WithDad moments to social media.