Most commercials just wash over me without much chance of gaining my attention, especially car commercials. I do recall chuckling when I saw a commercial that mimicked a news story suggesting a Nissan Frontier pickup truck was quickly driven onto an airport runway to act as the front landing gear for an otherwise disabled 727. In a category that is full of brands and options, it is interesting that so often it seems like manufacturers need to rely on these visual stunts and other “professional driver on closed course” disclaimer approaches to draw our attention.
Last weekend, when I saw Nissan’s latest commercial highlighting their Easy Fill Tire Alert system, it really caught my eye – it felt different. In case you haven’t seen it, the gist is that if you have a low tire and stop at a gas station to pump up the tire, the car will honk at you when you have enough pressure. It will honk at you aggressively if you over fill the tire. More Information
At first, I couldn’t understand why I was so impressed by what will likely be a seldom used feature. Clearly, the engineering side of my brain was congratulating the development team for realizing that, given that real time tire pressure monitoring is already a mandated safety feature (and cost), they might as well add in some programming code and make a “nice-to-have” feature for the user. I don’t think it is a stretch to say they may indeed have implemented this without increasing their cost of goods for the car.
Nissan clearly has identified this feature as innovative and has spent marketing dollars spreading the word. By now, you are probably starting to form your own opinion as to how innovative it really is, but before you cast final judgment, consider this; Fiat just announced that they will be the world’s first standard production car to offer a true espresso coffee machine integrated into the car. I bet that drove up the cost of goods.