Monday, January 06, 2014

Nissan's Bizarre Version of San Francisco

It's common for Hollywood and Madison Avenue to take liberties with San Francisco geography, but this Nissan commercial for the 2014 Rogue breaks new ground.

A Potrero-ish view of the city from South San Francisco.

The ad revolves around a carpool of commuters — driving a Rogue, naturally — who are trying to get to work on time. It starts off with a scene of cable cars crossing an intersection, clearly establishing that the setting is San Francisco. And yet, what follows is a completely fantastical depiction of the city.



From Russian Hill (or is that Pacific Heights?), the commuters apparate to SoMa — near what looks like the Gap headquarters on Folsom.

There's an elevated Amtrak-style train running through town (or is this how Caltrain will connect to the Transbay Terminal?). After jumping onto the roof the train and doing some more maneuvering, the commuters wind up in what appears to be the Potrero, where they get an oddly edited view of the skyline. There's no Transamerica Pyramid, which I guess isn't surprising — it's a trademarked image, so ads generally avoid showing it.

In the final shot, the commuters magically appear in the parking lot of the Centennial Towers in South San Francisco, which would never have a view of the skyline.

In fairness, the ad does say, "Fantasy, do not attempt."

Coincidentally, the Nissan Rogue made news in San Francisco back in 2010, when a driver of the vehicle went on a rampage and mowed down several cyclists in Potrero Hill and the Mission.

Fortunately, no one was killed. But the incident made you wonder if Rogue wasn't an ideal choice for a name.