This is a commercial for the Nissan Sentra that is in heavy rotation right now. It’s … fine. I don’t know. I don’t think I would personally be very excited about a stranger in white-framed sunglasses shouting Billy Idol lyrics at me from a moving mid-sized sedan while I’m driving to work or trying to enjoy a quiet lunch at a sidewalk cafe, but whatever. Maybe that’s just me. And the commercial is based on a popular series of web videos titled “Highway Singalong” that feature extended versions of a similar theme, so there’s obviously something to it all. Like I said, I don’t know. It’s fine.
There is one part of it, however, that bugs me, mostly because my brain works like that of a deranged person. At about the 0:20 mark, he passes a schoolbus filled with what appear to be elementary-school-aged children, all of whom begin freaking out and doing the “Like a pony” part of the chorus to “Mony Mony.”
Here’s my problem: Billy Idol’s version of “Mony Mony” was released in 1981. These kids are, what? Ten? Twelve? That puts the years of their births sometime in the early 2000s, a full two decades after the song was released. There is no way those kids — in the fanciful world of the commercial, in which a man has pulled up next to their bus blasting a hit song from when their parents were in elementary school — know the lyrics to “Mony Mony.” No way. Zero. On the grand scale of fictional leaps commercials ask us to take, I’d put it just under a talking pig driving a waverunner and stealing his neighbor’s girlfriend. Just under.
And I know what you’re thinking. You’re sitting there saying “Fine, but who cares?” Well, let me ask you this: If Nissan is willing to lie about this, what else are they willing to lie about? Consumer safety, perhaps? Can you really afford to put your family in one of their cars knowing that the people in charge are willing to play so fast and loose with even the simplest facts? Are you willing to take that chance with the lives of your children on the line? I know I wouldn’t. Heck, I couldn’t. And neither should you. Not until Nissan gets its house in order and stops promoting bold-faced falsehoods in its national advertising campaigns. You owe it to your loved ones.
This post sponsored by Ford Motor Company