The Return of the Datsun: a lesson in coolness
Posted on February 12, 2017 | By ArabAd staff

After almost three decades of absence, the Datsun name is back to Lebanon and in force, thanks to an advertising campaign by TBWA\Raad Beirut launched last summer that allowed the automotive brand to garner significant attention around its comeback.

Although the print ads were basic in their creative execution, the rationale was otherwise. The first phase of the campaign was obviously designed to build hype around the punchline: "The Datsun is back and in force."

Even if you didn’t think of that when you first saw the outdoor ads, now the TVC backs up this reasoning, which helped bring another layer to the campaign entirely.

TBWA\Raad has been tasked to revive the once-popular Nissan-owned automobile brand that had its name phased out in the early ’80s.

After years of absence, it's not easy for any brand to reconnect with consumers. However, the agency has managed to do so by repositioning Datsun as retro and hipster, the cool car of now. And they are relevant as ever. 

The spot that has recently rolled out on local TV and the internet appeals to both generations – the old and the young.

Everything about this ad is well-dosed. Credible acting, a pertinent script, a comical sketch-like situation, appropriate hints – all revolving around the over-enthusiasm of a father and his son, happy owners of a Datsun giving each other a lesson in coolness.

The sales pitch is not centered around the car's features; it rather stresses on the sense of belonging toward the brand, which is a sure strategy to resuscitate an old label that was a global favorite and a local darling. So, instead of unrealistic brand promises, here is a spot that relates to local Datsun fans and everyone else, a spot reflecting that everything is modern about the new brand model. And a simple line – "It is back in force" – that makes more sense now.

In the ’60s and ’70s, the brand enjoyed extraordinary success, especially in Lebanon. This is why there are amusing references to the good-old days (like the little shoe dangling from the back of the car as a drift charm) mixed in the present – which is well-supported by the two actors, local standup comedian Wissam Kamal and his father in real life.

Thanks to these two sympathetic characters and the storyline, this is one sure opportunity for a brand name that was dropped some 30 years ago to regain its coolness, its popularity d'antan, attract new customers and thrive for a successful future. 

Hit the road Jack... What a cool comeback!!