Toyota: We Can Be Weird and Terrible, You Can't!

By Peter Dushenski

Not to beat a dead horse, but I get a kick out of this. I wish that the strange screenshot above were unique, but it’s just one part of Toyota’s recent string of marketing chin-scratchers.

From watching this colourful commercial (embedded below) you just get the sense that a 38-year-old marketing exec spent an entire work week on just this one doodle; working it, reworking it, and ultimately settling on a portrait that only Bob Villa’s sweet tooth could love.

This is the whole 16 second TV spot.

Is Toyota trying to send a message here? It’s more likely that I’ve gone off the deep end altogether but hear me out. Not one week after my doodle of the Venza rattled their fragile cages, their Canadian division has released their own hypocritical Crayola creation, seen here depicting a white Prius V and a family of jelly beans with chairs jutting out from the parents’ skulls. It’s like Aliens vs. Chairs: The Hybrid.

But this isn’t the only unusual marketing campaign from the Japanese Giant. Scion’s latest series of commercials includes this preposterously risqué spot for the iQ, appealing to men of all ages with an unstoppable combination of fatty foods and fat-free women. Meow!

Pretty edgy, if a little misdirected. Kind of reminds me of this hand-written review I did once… And yes, I will openly admit that hand-writing a review and photographing (my scanner was broken) the pages was misdirected. But I will defend the Venza cartoon to my death! Really, how cool is a Karim Rashid-designed stained glass roof on a car?

However, the lesson here, if you twist the narrative enough, is that if you want to express your peculiar brand of creativity in the automotive industry, make sure you’re getting paid for it. Simply use the title Creative Consultant on your business card and the car company doors will swing wide open.

If you’re going to use the title Blogger, accept the fact that you’ll never be as creepy and simultaneously terrible as you wish you could be.

“To Risk” by William Arthur Ward

To laugh is to risk appearing a fool,
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.

To reach out to another is to risk involvement,
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.

To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.

To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To live is to risk dying,
To hope is to risk despair,
To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.

He may avoid suffering and sorrow,
But he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live.

Chained by his servitude he is a slave who has forfeited all freedom.

Only a person who risks is free.

The pessimist complains about the wind;

The optimist expects it to change;

And the realist adjusts the sails.

;

And that’s the Philosophy of Driving for this week. See you next Tuesday morning!

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