What Is Up With Nissan's New Web Site?

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This month, Nissan Motors began U.S. and Japanese sales of the Nissan Leaf, a new electric car. The company appears to be at some pains to market the Leaf as family-friendly; as Sebastian Blanco of Autoblog points out, Nissan's new Web site for the Leaf is aggressively kid-oriented. Click through to see what he means.

The new site imparts information about the Leaf through a bunch of cheery animated skits, featuring a mother (June, 40), a father (Sam, 42), and their two young children Lisa and Hide, who apparently hold disproportionate decision-making power in the family. When the parents decide it's time to get a new car, they sit down with Lisa and Hide and ask them what kind of car they want, even though the kids are in fifth grade and nowhere near driving age. The family is also accosted and occasionally whisked away onto a game-show set by a talking, bespectacled dog, identified only as "Nissan dealer representative." Here's what the site has to say about this curious fellow:

As a Nissan dealer representative, he is full of love for Nissan and known for his expertise in new line-ups, as well as Nissan's heritage cars and the company's history. He can get a bit anxious and worried at times, which brings an extra charm to his character.

Okay! Apparently Nissan's market research indicates that people are more likely to overcome their skepticism about electric cars if they hear about them from an anxious, anthropomorphic dog.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.