Nissan Turns To 80s Glam Metal Frontman To Sell Commercial Vans
Poison frontman and reality show star Bret Michaels is now Nissan's pitchman for a relatively new line of commercial vans. Credit: Nissan USA

Nissan Turns To 80s Glam Metal Frontman To Sell Commercial Vans

Poison frontman and reality show star Bret Michaels is now Nissan's pitchman for a relatively new line of commercial vans. Credit: Nissan USA
Poison frontman and reality show star Bret Michaels is now Nissan’s pitchman for a relatively new line of commercial vans. Credit: Nissan USA

Ford Trucks has Toby Keith. Chevy has Tim Allen. And for its tough-guy spokesman, Franklin-based Nissan North America has hired Bret Michaels – frontman for the metal band Poison.

Dressed in his signature do-rag, Bret Michaels appears in a series of commercials and web videos meant to show how tough Nissan’s commercial vans are. The ads are filmed in the Arizona desert where vehicles are put through the equivalent of 13 years of wear and tear, like a heat chamber to test the paint job.

“They coat it with salt, and they just plain bake it,” Michaels says. “Now that’s nasty, and I like it.”

Nissan even filmed a full-length music video, a parody of the 80s hit “Endless Love,” serenading the Nissan vans as he tours the testing facility.

http://youtu.be/YXcrOjO8tn8

To explain why Bret Michaels was the right fit for a spokesman, senior vice president Fred Diaz calls him an “enduring icon of rock” and an entrepreneur “who understands the need of small business owners” who might be in the market for a commercial van.

Nissan only recently introduced its cargo and passenger vans, which are built in Canton, Miss., along side its truck lines.

The sales numbers remain relatively small. Year to date, roughly 14,000 Nissan commercial vehicles have sold in the U.S., but that doubles the same period for 2013.

Nissan has used big name pitchmen before. Actor Robert Downey Jr. was named to voice the company’s commercials promoting the launch of the all-electric Leaf.

http://youtu.be/C0SoWTj9NAQ

Blake Farmer

Blake Farmer is WPLN's assistant news director, but he wears many hats - reporter, editor and host. He covers the Tennessee state capitol while also keeping an eye on Fort Campbell and business trends, frequently contributing to national programs. Born in Tennessee and educated in Texas, Blake has called Nashville home for most of his life.
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