Nissan Europe claims its new Micra supermini is so original and distinctive it had to invent a new language to describe it in a TV commercial directed by Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive director David Lynch.

Nissan has fused existing words to create a new vocabulary, such as ‘modern yet subtly retro’ – to make ‘modtro’.

Accompanied by a flow of Micra words spoken by giant blue lips – which recalls the atmosphere of Lynch’s Blue Velvet – the new baby Nissan moves through an innovative environment lit by the French director of photography, Jean-Yves Escoffier (The Crow: City of Angels, Good Will Hunting, Les Amants du Pont-Neuf ).

Said Lynch: “I think it was surrealist artist Rene Magritte who put lips in the sky. This is a bit of the feel of those big beautiful lips speaking in a supermodern and very graphic city, Paris.”

Lynch and Escoffier combined to use innovative technologies and an experimental approach to create an out-of-the-ordinary commercial.

“There is a lot of experimentation in the shooting, so we have many pieces to fit together,” said Lynch. “Plus, we are building things in 3D for this commercial. For example the lips have got to be isolated and finessed.”

Creative director Chris Garbutt said: “Lynch and Escoffier used a wide range of machinery and equipment to get the desired effect – from a helicopter, to another car, even a parachute to reflect light from the helicopter to the Micra. All this while fireworks were detonating under the car’s wheels. They also shot a lot of elements in different areas which have been blended together in 3D during post production. This commercial is a mixing of such different elements.”

The way in which Lynch filmed the car is in a way reminiscent of the way he shot women in Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive: with mystery, sensuality and with a sense of the bizarre.

According to Garbutt: “In a shot going down from the top of a building, Lynch introduced a woman character with red hair looking out of a window. It’s these details that inspire a similar, cool emotion to Twin Peaks or Mulholland Drive.”
Micra-speak created for the ad includes ‘spafe’ (spontaneous + safe), ‘simpology’ (simple + technology), ‘Smig’ (small + big), ‘aggrendly’ (aggressive + friendly), ‘thractical’ (thrilling + practical), ‘luxurable’ (luxurious + affordable) and ‘compacious’ (compact + spacious).

The new Micra campaign will be launched in 30 European countries from January 2003. It will cover all media: TV, outdoors, radio, and internet. The car is on sale from 15 January.