Autos

Nissan taps 'Schitt's Creek,' Marvel Cinematic Universe stars for action-packed Super Bowl ad

Key Points
  • Nissan is returning to Super Bowl advertising after a seven-year hiatus with an star-studded commercial led by "Schitt's Creek" co-creator and actor Eugene Levy.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe stars Brie Larson, Danai Gurira and Dave Bautista.
Nissan is returning to Super Bowl advertising after a seven-year hiatus with an star-studded commercial led by "Schitt's Creek" actor and co-creator Eugene Levy.
Nissan

Nissan Motor is returning to Super Bowl advertising after a seven-year hiatus with a star-studded commercial led by "Schitt's Creek" co-creator and actor Eugene Levy.

The 60-second spot features the Emmy-winning actor driving a new Nissan Z sports car borrowed from Marvel Cinematic Universe actress Brie Larson, who's a brand ambassador for Nissan.

Levy, dressed in a suit and tie, gets off to a rough start with the car, including grinding some gears while shifting. But it doesn't take Levy too long to become quite comfortable behind the wheel. Enough so he transforms into an action movie star with long hair, tattoos and a black leather jacket.

"We wanted to show how one drive in a Nissan can change everything," Allyson Witherspoon, chief marketing officer of Nissan's U.S. operations, told CNBC during a video interview. "It's a transformation story."

While driving the vehicle, Levy runs into fellow "Schitt's Creek" star Catherine O'Hara in an all-electric Nissan Ariya crossover as well as Marvel Cinematic Universe stars Danai Gurira and Dave Bautista.

Gurira and Bautista also morph into action movie co-stars before the ad returns to "reality" and the actors and actresses are at the premiere of the film, called "Thrill Ride," which also is the name of the Super Bowl commercial.

2023 Nissan Z
Nissan

While the ad was specifically produced for the Super Bowl and isn't expected to be used again, the end of the commercial – much like Marvel Cinematic Universe films do – previews what's next for Nissan's advertising.

"We're going to be moving back into our electrification campaign after the Super Bowl, which ties really nicely," Witherspoon said. "At the end of the Super Bowl spot, Brie Larson takes her keys back, she gets into the Ariya. She's also the star of our electrification campaign."

Nissan's ad will air during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl 56, which is being broadcast by NBC on Feb. 13.

After a lackluster representation of automakers in last year's Super Bowl, many car companies are returning to the game this year.

Nissan is one of at least five automakers expected to advertise during the Super Bowl 56. That compares to only three automakersStellantis (Jeep), General Motors and Toyota Motor — in 2021.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal, which is owned by Comcast, is the parent company of NBC and CNBC.