A Billboard for All Seasons

Bad timing: Al Gore giving a speech on global warming in New York on Jan. 15, the coldest day in the city in decades. Good timing: Infiniti putting up a billboard in Times Square during the cold snap that highlights the all-weather G35 and features a video screen that plays the local Weather Channel feed.

“With the freeze in New York, we’re getting a lot of play right now,” says Wonya Lucas, evp of marketing at the Weather Channel in Atlanta. “But since this is about an all-weather-drive vehicle, it could stay up all year round.”

The headline, “All-wheel drive that changes with the weather,” fits well with the ever-changing tri-state-area weather reports on the screen. “The billboard came out of the strategy we created for what is Infiniti’s first all-wheel-drive system, which monitors road conditions for you,” explains Tor Myhren, creative director at TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif. Myhren conceived the idea with art directors Scott Brown and Bill Hornstein and copywriter Craig Crawford. “The Weather Channel is a perfect fit,” Myhren says. “We didn’t want some fake, stupid weather thing up there, but the real stuff. It adds authenticity.”

The ad shows the G35 effortlessly handling snow, but it could get a seasonal facelift. Sunny weather, he says, would emphasize another advantage of the G35: that, unlike an SUV, it becomes a fun rear-wheel-drive sports car when roads are clear.

Infiniti has the space through June; this ad runs until April 1. “People think of weather in terms of preparation,” says Lucas. “This ad’s about being inspired to live your life regardless of the weather.”