A commercial for the Nissan Juke about the Japanese manufacturer’s crossover automobile’s motorcycle-inspired center console is sending a very anti-motorcycle message. The controversial video (look for it after the jump) has the Juke chasing down motorcyclists and running them down in a parking garage.

Automobile manufacturers often tout “motorcycle-inspired” design elements, and the shape of the center console in the Nissan Juke (pictured above) is one example. (We’d post a picture of what the Juke looks like from the outside but we don’t think the Juke needs the promotion; besides, in the words of reviewer Derek Kreindler on our sister site, Autoguide.com: “The Nissan Juke is ugly.”)

But while other manufacturers describe the two-wheeled inspiration in more or less respectful tones, Nissan has taken a different approach, describing the center console as a hunting trophy from the Juke’s run-in with a motorcycle gang.

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It’s bad enough the almost entirely computer generated commercial seems to promote chasing and running over motorcyclists, the riders themselves are depicted in a negative light as a menacing gang (or “predators”, as the narrator describes them).

Frankly, we’re a little surprised this commercial was ever approved. Manufacturers don’t usually like to depict their vehicles intentionally running people over. Motorcycle.com contributor Barry Winfield reports the ad was produced by Nissan Canada’s ad agency and the video and the reaction to it hasn’t sat well with Nissan USA.

What do you think, readers? Let us know in the comments below or, if you like, let Nissan know.

[Source: Nissan, About.com]

  • Jeff Jones

    Frankly, I think you are WAY overreacting to this. Relax. It is a bit of geeky fantasy anime used to sell a car.

  • Sorry, Jeff. I think this ad is pure garbage. And if it wasn’t, Nissan USA wouldn’t be trying to pull it. Hard to believe this POS was vetted by so-called responsible execs.

  • All this commercial does is make me say “Thank Goodness I don’t own a Nissan!”

    As a rider of sport bikes I get to see those who are responsible riders and those who are a nuisance. Not all of us are prey 🙂

    On a side note should I assume all Nissan drivers are jerks because of the guy who was driving a Nissan today and cut me off on my way to work? I guess I should if that’s how Nissan wants to depict sport bike riders.

  • Yeah, the aggression of the commercial kinda doesn’t make me want to buy one as a family vehicle, but more as a sports vehicle, or a race care, this is definitely an odd approach for Nissan.

  • MATT

    Haha I don’t think it’s a big deal really. Besides seeing as how the Juke apparently “won” it’s engine from running down a go-kart I personally don’t feel very threatened by any impressionable Nissan owners out there getting the idea to try to race me to the death =).

  • Major fail.

  • Wolfgang Sander

    What are they thinking…or are they not thinking? Building a butt ugly car is their right, and to glamorize violence may be their right too. But its our right to protest, and if we are in the market for an ugly car, we can buy one from Honda. I am sure that they are pro motorcycle.

  • Mqt. R1

    Who would waste their time complaining about this. Its a cartoon mini-movie used as advertisement, not a personal attack on anybody, don’t be a jerk.

  • Janson

    1) I’m disgusted. 2) Compared to what happens to police officers, military personnel, and innocents in a lot of movies and tv shows this is pretty mild. but this isn’t fiction, and if it were it would lack the redemptive narrative arc we expect when we see our values betrayed. I think they should pull it because it’s badly done – it doesn’t work right.

    I wonder if they surveyed the target demographic (represented perhaps by the woman who gets mugged) and found that they are intimidated on the road by motorcycles and thought they could leverage that for the brand? If so, this is a very clumsy attempt.

  • Your TV commercial chasing motorcycles and running them down,
    Not funny at all, I have been riding for 45+ years and have lost many fellow riders to car drivers that say I never saw him,
    well you sure don’t need to add to our demise with this crappy commercial by making a sport out of it.,
    I would never ever buy a vehicle from any company that thinks running us, “Motorcycle riders”
    down and think it is funny,
    I have seen my friends after a hit from a car not a sight you would like to see,
    It would behoove you to discontinue this commercial.
    There are a lot of us riders out there that will see this and feel as I do.
    James W Betts IV

  • Luger

    I was looking at a BMW Z4 and a Nissan 370Z. This commercial convinced me that I will NEVER purchase a Nissan. Thanks for turning me back to BMW for a new car!

  • CHoffman

    Sad when a car is so wimpy it has to run down something half it’s size (sorry, no bike is as big as a car….even a Smarty). Poor little Juke….intimidated by something with half the wheels. I think Jeep should do a commercial with Wranglers parking on Jukes.

  • Ritchie Rhoades

    YARNTBAN — Yet Another Reason Not To Buy A Nissan.

  • Chris

    Thanks for making the all too funny commercial where you run down motorcyclists. Not funny, maybe next time you could chase and run over kittens, or better yet, babies.

  • RiderJ

    That’s it, I’m trading my Nissan Murano in for a Toyota. Not funny Nissan, I and many of my friends ride motorcycles and cars are our worst enemies. Besides, the Juke looks like it’s been hit with an ugly stick, the stupidest design since Pontiac’s Aztek.

  • StevieD

    Incredibly bad taste, thoughtless, with complete disregard for anyone who has lost a rider to a “killer car” driver…Nissan owes the motorcycle community a massive apology..JMHO

  • Tom Nicotera

    (Also sent this to Nissan) First I do own a Nissan but refuse to share the VIN with you. Read on and you will understand why! I just today saw your Nissan Juke advertisement: http://blog.motorcycle.com/2011/09/07/design/nissan-juke-hunts-and-runs-down-motorcyclists-in-commercial-video/ and find it so offensive that I immediately posted an advert online to sell my Nissan car. Your depiction of ANYONE purposefully hitting ANY motorcyclist (and maiming or killing them) brings to mind images of the torture and murder of helpless captive soldiers forced into the “Bataan Death March” and makes me believe that the use of the atomic bomb was in fact a good thing (I had previously had serious doubts about that)! The advocacy of the hunting and murdering of motorcycle riders (even if depicted as “predators” which is even more offensive than your advert) makes it seem Nissan management must be from the same people who ordered and carried out the “Bataan Death March”. Thank god that other Japanese manufacturers are run by progressive people who understand that the “old way” was at best, flawed. I am sending this comment to EVERY newspaper available to me and also sending a link to your commercial to my NYS legislators (who I know personally) and insist that they take all steps to prevent my state government from doing ANY business with ANY Nissan owned or operated corporation for ANY Nissan product! Your advert campaign and these depictions are DESPICABLE! At this point I would refuse to own any Nissan vehicle even if you offered to pay me to take it! How unfortunate. A very poor program indeed.

  • Bob

    In addition to Mqt. R1’s comment, “Guns don’t kill people.” Wouldn’t the same apply? Jukes don’t run down bikes. Jack Asses behind the wheel do.

    The concept of the hunter becoming prey to explain how a vehicle’s console came to be confuses me. Why not “The sleek, aggressive lines of the console was inspired by the attitude of today’s sport bikes…” Does it have to have an elaborate story behind it? Why did the biker cross the road? Because he f’n wanted to, that’s why. No history, no story. He (or she) just did it.

    Looks like a case of a geek with a new graphics application was getting back at the riders that pointed and chuckled at him while riding his moped to work. Or not.

    The commercial has cool graphics yet an odd message and should have been reviewed maybe one more time by another demographic prior to approval for release.

    The dude on the wall says, “Until next time, farewell.” Maybe Nissan should have hired Jonathan Goldsmith (World’s most interesting man) to close the commercial out with a “Stay thirsty my friend.” Then we would know the message was to sell beer. Rather than wondering what the pitch is. Buy a Juke because it’s console is a trophy from successfully running down a bike, or buy a Juke because it’s as agile as a bike or buy a Juke because we produced a commercial that has babes and explosions in it.

    I own a Nissan and I can proudly say it has never run down a bike. Matter of fact, it’s very much biker friendly and ALWAYS stops to offer assistance when a biker is in need. Should this give “kudos” to Nissan? No!

  • Denis

    I loved it. Very good use of the imagination. The guys on the motorcycle forum thought it was a cool commercial. The ones that are offended are the ones who imagine we riders take this seriously.
    Come on people, it’s funny and entertaining.
    Talk about over-reacting.
    Motorcycles don’t need to be politically correct. We have tougher skin than that.
    I think a 350z would have been more appropriate for the job.

  • Cal Waldhart

    This commercial is despicable! I can’t believe that a company that is supposedly run by responsible adults would have the unmitigated gall to approve something like this! And to label bikers as “predators” is totally ludicrous. I hope the jack-wagons who approved this piece of garbage choke on their new console!

  • Dusty Ol’ Man

    I have to agree with every negative comment made here. Nissan should know shame. They have brought it on themselves. I will never be numbered among their customers.

  • dee

    Bob, you’re right. It isn’t gun, its the human that pulls the trigger. But I have yet to see a gun commercial that promotes shooting people.

    I don’t own a Nissan, but I do own several motorcycles. Totally classless commercial, Nissan.

  • edgeburner

    I simply can’t believe there are people posting comments on here about how this isn’t really a big deal. This is egregious! I don’t usually get worked up about obviously poor marketing decisions but to all those who have lost someone they know because of road rage this commercial is just the worst!

    Good comment on this being the ugliest car since the Aztek. lol… Spot on!

  • bipedal

    Despicable! I will never buy a Nissan, I love my Toyotas and Hondas.

  • Cathy

    As a Nissan owner and motorcycle owner I would like to say that this commercial is in very poor taste and I am totally disgusted with the marketing technique that used killing motorcyclists as a selling tool. I would ask that this commercial immediately be removed from the public viewing for all of our sakes. The quality of my Nissan has nothing to do with this trash. Our next new car purchase will be decided by Nissan’s actions concerning the removal of this video and a public apology to the biking community as well.

  • Steve

    Seriously? I don’t get what all the fuss is about. It looks like a scene from a video game or maybe a chase from an action movie. While I have the utmost Sympathy for anyone who lost a friend or loved one in a motorcycle vs car accident its just a tv ad. I was hit by a car last june on my old yamaha streetbike and I certainly don’t blame the accident on anyone but myself and the other driver, I was not paying attention and neither were they. That is a bad combo for sure. Oh and I do own a Nissan cube and don’t plan on selling it anytime soon. Just my 2cents worth. Thanks.

  • Elliott Feldman

    This has to be the worst advertisement ever made. Not just because I have been riding motorcycles for almost forty years but I don’t understand what sense it makes. I was looking for a car for my daughter but I’m sure that Nissan products are now off my list. I guess your message is to tell drivers to run down motorcyclist which isn’t the message I would send by any means. Pull your heads out of your butts and smarten up.

  • Chrisie

    All I know is I am so happy that I went with the Hyundai Sonata. I was looking at Nissan as well. This is absolutely ridiculous and I cannot believe that it was actually allowed to be produced. It’s bad enough that there are idiots out there gunning for us everyday, but does a car company have to re-iterate the stupidity?? Very sad. Kiss my butt Nissan!!

  • Doug

    I won’t buy another Nissan.

  • Kevin

    Have you seen the other ad where they attack Pearl Harbor with a Nissan Juke? Awesome.

  • Alex Kovnat

    I would prefer that Nissan withdraw that advertisement. Surely you can sell cars without commercials despicting them running down motorcyclists. After all, suppose Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, etc were to have an advertisement consisting of a computer simulation of a big motorcycle running down bicycles?

  • Please see relevant news story from MAG website below.


    As per the news story, Nissan Canada have now pulled the advert from their website.

  • Michele

    To those of you who “like” this commercial because it’s cool and not real, are you also the individuals that follow me and chase me when I’m on my HD like it’s sport? Yes, you are out there, those that think it’s fun to see who you can run off the road because you’re bigger then me.

    Maybe the commercial is well made, maybe it’s fun, but I thought people in high places of large corporations were suppose to have common sense.

    If you want a video game to run down bikers, kittens and the such, go buy yourself one; we don’t need this on public t.v.

  • Mike

    I found the commercial in very poor taste. The aftermath of car vs motorcycle accidents is not a pretty sight. I’ve lost too many friends over the years to the scenario…..
    Bad move Nissan. This one may haunt you for a while.

  • Dale

    Time was motorcyclists were a tough hardened bunch. TBH shame on you first for watching a commercial of a car with such a soccer mom name attached to it. Secondly, are we really offended? Offended to me is such a strong word, and is only used when I consider acts of a sexual or racial nature. Sorry but being a motorcyclist doesn’t allow you entry into the ranks of those that have been persecuted, their all full up. Until motorcyclists endure the hardships of life that visible minorities and women (also considered a visible minority) have endured you’re not offended. You’re just being offensive trying to act so darned self righteous.

  • To Michele

    Michelle, I’ve seen you on your HD, trust me no one is chasing you and the HD isn’t that nice looking either.

  • scott
  • Jim In SF

    All-righty then, so Nissan and Infiniti are two brands I will not be considering for my next purchase!

    Great way to alienate people with enough disposable income to afford additional motorized vehicles as recreation Nissan! Idiots…

  • Carl

    Poorest commercial idea ever. Nissan is not a vehicle I’ll consider buying, ever.

  • Rowdy McNasty

    Looks like the ad has been pulled. I can not find it anywhere…TOO LATE DAMAGE DONE!!! BOCOTT BOCOTT BOCOTT!!!

  • Rowdy McNasty

    To BOB: If Nissan sold AK47’s this would be akin to telling kids to run right out and mow down a motorcyclist with it. What are you thinking???

  • wolf

    petition for above video (with video link)

  • I emailed Nissan regarding the Juke commerical,and let them know just how offensive to bike riders it was. This was their response.

    Thank you for contacting Nissan North America, Inc. and allowing us the opportunity to be of assistance.
    We at Nissan North America, Inc. are very concerned about acceptable advertising programs. We do have both a professional screening service and our advertising agency monitoring the general content of advertisements carrying the Nissan message.
    Nissan recognizes that people have different standards as to the acceptable content, and we sincerely apologize that you found this particular advertisement to be unacceptable. We appreciate your time, concern and comments as they help us improve our commercials.

    Case # 7935769 has been created to document this concern. Please feel free to contact us at 1-800-647-7261 with any questions or comments.

    Sincerely, Nissan North America, Inc.

    Karina Eraldo
    Consumer Affairs Representative
    Nissan Consumer Affairs

    If you find it offensive too Email them at nnaconsumeraffairs@nissan-usa.com and let them know.