Chevy Chase is there in spirit, but Christie Brinkley is actually starring. Yes, it's “National Lampoon's Vacation,” but as an Infiniti TV spot, which uses a key scene from the film to tout the new 2015 QX60 crossover. The campaign is timed with the July 29 release of the remake by Warner Brother’s Studios.
In a fresh take on the storyline, Brinkley does not revisit her bombshell role. Rather, she plays the wife of the guy doing the Chevy Chase part. That actor, Ethan Embry, who plays the dad, happens to have been in the cast of the “Vacation” sequel, the 1997 “Vegas Vacation.”
With a spotlight on the now-requisite-for-full-size-crossovers three rows of seats in the QX60, the ad, in which the family is again going to Wally World, has an attractive blonde drive side-by-side with Embry and clan in the QX60. Brinkley, noting her husband’s goo-goo eyes, says “Honey, a blonde in a convertible? Seriously?” The 30-second commercial, via Infiniti’s new AOR Boulder, Colo.-based Crispin, Porter + Bogusky, airs on Thursday.
The luxury unit of Nissan Motor has been in change mode for the past year or so. The company, which moved operations to Hong Kong in 2012, under then-chairman Johan de Nysschen, lost the executive to Cadillac last summer. He was replaced on an interim basis by Group VP Andy Palmer. Palmer then departed to join the global automotive game of musical chairs, taking the top spot at Aston Martin, which had lost its leader, Ulrich Bez.
And late last year, Infiniti switched agency gears, going from incumbent of 14 years TBWA, which still handles sibling brand Nissan, to CP+B. The firm's first work was for the Q50 sedan.
The changes haven't kept Infiniti from enjoying the fruits of a stronger U.S. market. The automaker's U.S. arm, based in Franklin, Tenn., last week reported a 16.5% increase in June sales, versus the month last year. That included a strong launch for the Q50 sports sedan, which Infiniti said saw a 43.2% increase in sales. Sales of Infiniti crossovers and sport utility increased 32% over the prior year. Year to date, Infiniti sales are up 8.3%.