Nissan - “With Dad” - (2015) :60 (USA)

I have to be honest, my initial reaction to this ad was "We're celebrating absent fathers?" You see, I listen to lyrics of songs, and that's what the Cats in the Cradle is about. Coupling that with images of a dad travelling a lot to go racing, and a son staring at an empty chair, it seemed that the message was that dad wasn't home. Until when he drives to pick up his son from high school, and they rejoice in a tear filled hug. What?
Clearly, the dad does spend time with his son, when he crashes there's flashbacks to boat rides, swimming and other dad&son moments. He spends time with his wife too, all idle moments seem to be spent on the phone with her. She watches every race he's in. He might as well be a travelling salesman, a seasonal worker or a truck driver providing for his family, though that's not as glamourous. He has a picture of his wife and son on the dashboard of his car, like every office worker has a picture of their family on their desk.
So the ad left people a little perplexed. It seems that racing dad retired after winning whatever big race, and when he won that he looked straight through the TV as if to say "this one's for you, son". Still, with the ultimate wrong choice of a song, most people read this as an absent dad. Retired just in time to pick son up from high school. Music really is 70% of an ad.

Client: Nissan

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