4 Min ReadBusiness 11 March 2020
Brie Larson's newest ad campaign with Nissan is a fast-paced, empowering journey through downtown LA, with the major theme being that women should stop settling for less in their careers (and their cars).
Brie Larson And Nissan Are A Match Made In Heaven
The basic premise of this commercial is that a woman's boss nonchalantly dismisses her hopes of a promotion (#relatable) when Brie Larson drives up in her shiny, new Nissan Sentra and tells the woman to get in.
Basically, Brie Larson wearing a leather jacket in a Nissan Sentra is the new knight in shining armor riding in on a gallant steed.
On their drive around Los Angeles, Larson gives the woman a pep talk about refusing to compromise. This premise may not feel familiar to some people, but I and plenty of other women can confirm that this is something that women everywhere deal with every single day. According to McKinsey & Company's recent report entitled "Women In The Workplace 2019," "For every 100 men promoted and hired to manager, only 72 women are promoted and hired. [...] Not surprisingly, men end up holding 62 percent of manager-level positions, while women hold just 38 percent." So, yes, this does happen... pretty damn often.
In the end, Larson drops off her newfound friend who walks away determined to get the recognition she's been missing. Lesson being...
Don't compromise for less than you deserve.
We spoke to Allyson Witherspoon, Vice President of Marketing Communications and Media, Nissan North America about the inspiration and meaning behind this absolutely awesome commercial.
1. What was the vision for the creative concept?
The all-new Nissan Sentra is coming to market during International Women's Month. This timing is perfect to deliver an inspirational message to women around the country. The "Refuse to Compromise" message is particularly powerful because it applies to everyone. No matter your gender, age, ethnicity, financial situation, you should never let situations hold you back in life. Nissan didn't compromise with the all-new Sentra and with this campaign, we are communicating what makes the car stand out — impressive design, handling, performance, and more standard safety technology than any other car in its class. I hope we're inspiring customers to be bold and brave, just like our newest sedan.
2. Why was Brie the right choice for this concept?
Our goal with the "Refuse to Compromise" campaign is to deliver an inspiring way to introduce the all-new Nissan Sentra. Brie Larson has reached fantastic success in a male-dominated industry thanks to her unwavering spirit. She perfectly embodies the spirit of the campaign. Brie has also brought a unique point of view to the creative during the production process, advocating for diversity and inclusivity.
3. How was it to work with Brie Larson? We loved the behind the scenes conversation between you two!
Brie Larson is an absolute joy to work with. We had a phone call to discuss the concept into early stages and she was immediately drawn into the concept and what we're trying to achieve as the Nissan brand and for the all-new Sentra. She brought a unique perspective to the production process and ensuring we had a diverse and inclusive crew. My favorite part was seeing her first reaction to Sentra on set — she loved the car!
More Ads Should Lean Into Diverse Messaging
Basically, this commercial is all about team-ups and sisterhood, and it seems like the collaborative process of making it was just the same! The commercial went live on Youtube this past Friday. Despite its honorable intentions, it did generate some small yet vitriolic backlash from tweets crying "angry feminist" to people comparing it to the (in)famous Gilette ad exploring toxic masculinity.
Although some backlash is inevitable when you're taking a social or political stance anywhere, companies like Nissan and Gilette that are unafraid of asserting a positive opinion into their ad space are doing important work. And it's better for them too! Studies have shown that companies with diverse ads are more likely to experience gains in revenue and brand perception. And who doesn't want that?
From this new campaign to other affirming messages like Always' "Like A Girl" ad, more companies are using their marketing budgets to not just show off their products but to exemplify a positive message of change and support for the world. You may not realize how deeply intertwined advertisements and culture are, but seeing these types of messages is just one more step to changing our society for the better. No, an ad isn't going to change the law or maybe even change a mind, but it is one more whisper in the back of someone's head that maybe things could and should be different. Plus, it doesn't hurt the bottom line, either!
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The Armchair Psychologist has all the answers you need!
Help! I Might Get Fired!
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
What's the best way to be prepared for a layoff? Because of the crisis, I am worried that my company is going to let me go soon, what can I do to be prepared? Is now a good time to send resumes? Should I save money? Redesign my website? Be proactive at work? Make myself non-disposable?
- Restless & Jobless
Dear Restless & Jobless,
I'm sorry that you're feeling anxious about your employment status. There are many people like yourself in this pandemic who are navigating an uncertain future, many have already lost their jobs. In my experience as a former professional recruiter for almost a decade, I always told my candidates the importance of periodically being passively on the market. This way, you'd know your worth, and you'd be able to track the market rates that may have changed over time, and sometimes even your job title which might have evolved unbeknownst to you.
This is a great time to reach out to your network, update your online professional presence (LinkedIn etc.), and send resumes. Though I'm not a fan of sending a resume blindly into a large database. Rather, talk to friends or email acquaintances and have them directly introduce you to someone who knows someone at a list of companies and people you have already researched. It's called "working closest to the dollar."
Here's a useful article with some great COVID-times employment tips; it suggests to "post ideas, articles, and other content that will attract and engage your target audience—specifically recruiters." If you're able to, try to steer away from focusing too much on the possibility of getting fired, instead spend your energy being the best you can be at work, and also actively being on the job market. Schedule as many video calls as you can, there's nothing like good ol' face-to-face meetings to get yourself on someone's radar. If your worries get the best of you, I recommend you schedule time with a qualified therapist. When you're ready, lean into that video chat and werk!
- The Armchair Psychologist
HELP! AM I A FRAUD?
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I'm an independent consultant in NYC. I just filed for unemployment, but I feel a little guilty collecting because a) I'm not looking for a job (there are none anyway) and b) the company that will pay just happens to be the one that had me file a W2 last year; I've done other 1099 work since then.
I'm sorry that you're wracked with guilt. It's admirable that your conscience is making you re-evaluate whether you are entitled to "burden the system" so to speak as a state's unemployment funds can run low. Shame researchers, like Dr. Brené Brown, believe that the difference between shame and guilt is that shame is often rooted in the self/self-worth and is often destructive whereas guilt is based on one's behavior and compels us to do better. "I believe that guilt is adaptive and helpful – it's holding something we've done or failed to do up against our values and feeling psychological discomfort."
Your guilt sounds like a healthy problem. Many people feel guilty about collecting unemployment benefits because of how they were raised and the assumption that it's akin to "seeking charity." You're entitled to your unemployment benefits, and it was paid into a fund for you by your employer with your own blood, sweat, and tears. Also, you aren't committing an illegal act. The benefits are there to relieve you in times when circumstances prevent you from having a job. Each state may vary, but the NY State Department of Labor requires that you are actively job searching. The Cares Act which was passed in March 2020 also may provide some relief. I recommend that you collect the relief you need but to be sure that you meet the criteria by actively searching for a job just in case anyone will hire you.
- The Armchair Psychologist