Recently Toyota Car Company launched a new series of advertisements for the Toyota Highlander 2011. The advertisements are focused on a young boy who is absolutely enthralled by the new Toyota highlander 2010.
No Denying that the engineering that went into the manufacturing and design of the Highlander 2011 is awesome, it has all the good stuff anyone would want in a vehicle. Bluetooth capability, entertainment system, GPS navigation etc.
However there is a more sinister aspect to the advertisements and I wonder if this is the new direction marketing and advertising is heading in. The whole ad campaign is centered not on telling people how good the car is, rather it is centered on how not having that car is a disgrace.
One particular advertisement starts outside a School as a student runs out of the school and hides behind a potted plant as his dad yells at him to get inside the car and the student does not want to be seen or associated with his father’s old car. Meanwhile another student walks out of the school and says “See Billy over there? That’s what utter humiliation looks like. Parents just don’t understand the half of it.” He then walks over to his mother’s car while the other boy’s father continues to yell at him to get into his car and says “Lucky for me, my mom gets it, this highlander is so cool, I actually 'wanna' be seen in it.” Then the first student runs and jumps into his father’s old car through the passenger window, not wanting to be seen in it.
Then the second boy in the highlander says, “Just because you are a parent doesn’t mean you have to be lame”
The advertisement campaign is a sick perverted manifestation of the materialistic capitalism dominated world we live in now.
How would a not-so-wealthy father feel when he sees that just because his primary priority to feed his family and keep a roof over his house does not allow him to buy a flashy car his children think he is lame? How would he feel? How would a single mother who works two jobs to help her family survive in an increasingly difficult and cut-throat world feel, when she thinks that after all that she does for her children, that they think she is lame. How would she feel?
But I wonder how this little commercial advertisement star’s parents felt when he starred in the commercial; did they feel proud of their son’s success?
Did they give him a hug and a kiss for his “achievement” at vilifying parents of children who are not wealthy? I wonder if that boy’s father told him “Great Job Son, Keep It Up”.
I wonder if that boy’s mother told her neighbors and her friends in her high society trash talking Kitty Party, “Oh my son is on Television now”. I wonder… I wonder… but more than that, much more than that, I wonder how the marketing department director at Toyota felt, as he ‘okayed’ that idea for this advertisement. How did the many people in the advertisement feel about what they were being asked to do? Did nobody tell them it is wrong to poke fun at those who do not have spendable wealth? Is this what the moral fabric of the world at large is becoming?
To mock and poke fun at poor people because they cannot afford to buy flashy materialistic luxuries that their children desire is a heinous barbaric uncivilized crime but it becomes more and more accepted as people do not speak out. Is this part of the mainstream public discourse now?
Just because somebody could not afford a big car or a new TV or the newest technology, should they be vilified? Should people watching this advertisement go and buy a vehicle that is being promoted using these morally repugnant schemes of marketing? I should think not.
Do we have the right to stay quite as we see this injustice? Or is it a crime against universal morality to not speak out against this moral repugnant.
Personally, I have always had a liking for Toyota because of their long lasting cars and I have always recommended people buying Toyotas, but not now. Nope, Never Again. Toyota lost me as a costumer at least.
Is Toyota going from being the average man’s first preference to the capitalist’s fist preference? Is this ad campaign an attempt to capture a high society niche consumer base?
Either that or they are using emotional coercion on their consumers to buy cars they cannot afford.
This is a call to action, to call up Toyota or to write to them and thank them for losing your patronage. Even if they apologize, you know it’s not from their heart and their deep felt sorrow and regret, rather the fear of losing profits.
Who knows what went through the minds of those people who were involved in the production of this ad campaign, one thing is for certain, they are making a deliberate attempt to alienate an already existing consumer base.