CP+B, Boulder / INFINITI MOTOR COMPANY / 2016
In this tribute to one of America’s favourite films, National Lampoon’s Vacation, a family piles into their Infiniti QX60, and hits the road for a family road trip. While his family dozes, the father, played by Ethan Embry from the original series of Vacation films, sees a bright red sports car in his rear view mirror. The convertible pulls alongside the QX60, and the gorgeous blonde driver flirts with the father. Enjoying the attention, the father flirts back, revving his engine, and showing off the power of the QX60. With a wave and a flick of her hair, the blonde pulls away in her car, just as the man’s wife wakes up. The twist? His co-pilot is the gorgeous star of the original scene from National Lampoon’s Vacation, model and actress Christie Brinkley, showing that the QX60 is way more than your average family car.
The premise of the commercial relied on the casting of the blonde supermodel from the original film, Christie Brinkley. Her casting served two purposes, one, to land the twist at the end of the spot, and two, to demonstrate that while the QX60 is a family car, it still has the power to impress a woman like Christie Brinkley. When casting for the role of the father, originally played by Chevy Chase in the film, we looked at middle-aged comedic actors, before another idea struck – what if the father in our spot could be played by the son from the original National Lampoon’s Vacation films? From there, we cast actor Ethan Embry, who had played the role of Rustie, Chevy Chase’s son. As a result, many fans saw our commercial as something of an “update” on the characters from the original Vacation films, which led to national PR coverage.