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Q: Nissan Ad Campaign (Old Man & Dog) ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Nissan Ad Campaign (Old Man & Dog)
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Television
Asked by: nekkibasara-ga
List Price: $4.50
Posted: 15 Aug 2002 14:25 PDT
Expires: 14 Sep 2002 14:25 PDT
Question ID: 54986
Years ago, there was a major Nissan Ad Campaign featuring an elderly
Japanese man and a dog (if memory serves correctly, it may have been a
Jack Russell Terrier of some sort).  The inaugural television
commercial featured a little league game in which a child searches for
a lost baseball that lands near a lone house in the middle of a field.
 Inside, the child meets an old man (accompanied by his dog), who
surrealistically shows the child some very rare and interesting cars
straight from the Nissan line.  One of the tag lines is: "Any car can
take you where you want to go - it takes a special car to get you
there with a smile on your face." (not necessarily verbatim)

Well, here are my requests:

1) Please search for an image of the man from the ad campaign -
hopefully one that includes both him AND the dog.  Also, a movie file
of the first ad and any of the other commercials in the campaign would
also be welcome.

2) I read somewhere in a back issue of TV Guide that the character is
based upon a former president of the Nissan corporation.  Could you
tell me which one exactly?

3) (optional)  If possible, please tell me the name of the actor who
plays the character.
Subject: Re: Nissan Ad Campaign (Old Man & Dog)
Answered By: bobbie7-ga on 15 Aug 2002 16:07 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hello nekkibasara-ga,

Thank you for your question.

The ad campaign you are referring to is called "Dream Garage” and the
actor Dale Ishimoto plays the elderly man based on Mr. Yutuka
Katayama, the 87-year-old former president of Nissan.

“This $200 Million ad campaign for Nissan features actor Dale Ishimoto
playing the part of Mr.K or Yutaka Katayama. The commercial shows a
boy chasing a batted ball into a barn. A dog in the loft has retrieved
the ball. When the boy reaches for it, he tumbles down a shaft into a
mystical chamber. The man in the Datsun hat is there. "Welcome to my
garage," he says and shows the boy his collection of nearly 30 classic
Datsun and Nissan cars. Among them is the yellow 1972 Datsun 240Z
owned by Yutaka Katayama, who introduced Nissan cars to the United
States in 1958. "Any car can get you where you need to go," the man
says as the boy prepares to leave. "A special car gets you there with
a smile on your face. (..) The man, played by longtime Hollywood actor
Dale Ishimoto, will be a recurring character in the campaign. The ads
are being created by the agency TBWA Chiat/Day North America, based in
Venice, Calif.”

Another description of the commercial.

“Mr. Nissan - Mysterious man with the terrier dog, glasses, baseball
cap and a big grin featured on a series of Nissan automobile TV
commercials in 1997. The mystic Mr. Nissan character was based on the
former Nissan president Yutaka Katayama who reportedly represented
"honor, integrity and fun." The 60-ish actor Dale Ishimoto who played
Mr. Nissan was born in Delta, Colorado and served as a veteran of the
US Army. Before playing Mr. Nissan, Ishimoto's acting credits included
parts on MCHALE'S NAVY, KUNG FU and other TV commercials.”

As an image of the actor was not available I am including the link to
the movie download where you will be able to view the complete
commercial. I trust this movie where you can view Dale Ishimoto and
the dog is satisfactory.
The movie of the Dream Garage Commercial can be downloaded from this
page. Just choose “television commercial” to download the movie.

Dream Garage Ad Campaign

Nissan North America launched its "Life is a journey. Enjoy the Ride."
advertising campaign with a two minute television commercial at the
1996 Super Bowl. The spot featured a "Dream Garage" filled with
vintage Nissan vehicles and a mystical Japananese character loosely
based on Nissan Motor Corporation U.S.A. founder Yutaka Katayama. The
Dream Garage featured a number of Datsun Roadsters most notably a
silver 1967 Datsun Roadster 2000 which was featured prominently in the
print campaign.

Search criteria:

I hope this provides you with the information you are seeking.

Best regards,
nekkibasara-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Would have been perfect if it contained a promotional image of the ad
mascot, but the information was sufficient.  Thanks!

Subject: Re: Nissan Ad Campaign (Old Man & Dog)
From: bobbie7-ga on 15 Aug 2002 16:37 PDT
Additional information that may interest you:

More information about Dale Ishimoto such as his filmography and TV
guest appearances can be found on this page of the Internet Movie Data

Yutaka Katayama, on whom which the commercial was based,
affectionately known as “Mr. K” by Z owners, founded Nissan Motor’s
U.S. subsidiary in 1960, and is widely considered the “father” of the
Z-Car. Click on his image (on the right hand side of the webpage), to
download a movie  in which Katayama-san speaks of the inherent sports
car attributes of the Z.

At the Indy Z-Car Home Page (
) you can download the award-winning, and most-talked-about television
commercial in 1996; Nissan’s “Toys” .
The direct link for download is ( )

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