Friday, November 5, 2010

Bad Toyota, Bad!

I'm not talking about brakes or throttles (or even fuel pumps, as per a portion of their recent recall). I'm talking about advertising. Besides a really haughty, terrible-acting, jerk of a kid (sorry, family of the bad child actor, just calling it as I see it), the recent commercial series about the Highlander is, well, very insensitive, and just plain wrong.

First, minivans are not geeky or lame. In fact, in general, minivans are significantly more practical than most SUVs.  The cargo capacity is usually superior, passenger capacity is often superior, if not in number, at least in comfort, access, and cargo behind the passenger space (and, let's face it, who can beat the 84.5 cupholders that most modern vans have?!), not to mention the flexibility afforded by stow and go type seating (yeah, I know that is trademarked by Chrysler, but I think it's soon becoming a generic term in the vein of, say, kleenex).

And, second Toyota themselves make one of the most "non-geeky" (i.e., sporty) minivans on the market right now.

But, third, this type of commercial may give kids a complex about the (practical) mode of transportation chosen by their parents. Also, what about the parents whose only transportation happens to be that mid-80s Chrysler minivan "featured" in the commercial as "ultra geeky and lame" (quote from the commercial: "we're the geek family") that they can't afford to replace because dad's been looking for a job for the last year and a half? And what about the boy hiding in a recent version of that commercial?

Come on, Toyota, find a better way to advertise your Highlander. There's no reason to start trying to sway sales by influencing the kindergarten and elementary school children, making them feel bad about something that's 1) untrue; 2) not anything under their control.  And, worse, you're potentially promoting bullying and ridiculing those whose parents are more practical (and who may even be driving a Toyota product in the minivan category).

Bad Toyota, Bad!

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