Our beloved Brew.

Our beloved Brew.
R.I.P. Big guy.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Toyota Venza and its meaningless message

Recently, I went on a Twitter rant about the ads that Toyota is running for its Venza model. The voiceover explains that "You are more than one thing, and so is Venza." I find the whole premise baffling. As a current, and longtime Toyota driver, I feel I have the right to react to their messages. Given the current desparate state of affairs that the US auto makers put themselves in, and the government's pleading for consumers to spend, I want to know "business as usual" days within the auto industry are over before I go wading back into the market.

Through this ilconceived campaign is Toyota suggesting that I am defined by different usage occasions? I go to work, I drive at night to social events, I shop. Do they believe these different driving destinations and purposes define me? So in the morning the Venza is reliable work transportation, and during the lunch hour it's a good drive-thru vehicle, and at night it presents me as a "sporty guy" when I pull up in front of my favorite hangout? I don't get it.

Is there some other meaning I've missed?

For Toyota's purposes, I want them to accept I AM ONE THING. I am the driver of an automobile. I do not define myself through shallow things like the model of car I drive. A car provides transportation. Admittedly, some car features lend themselves to certain lifestyles and pursuts. it wouldn't be practical to use a convertible if I intended to use the vehicle for a housepainting business, nor would it seem wise to buy a large SUV for a simple one-mile commute from home to office. But if Toyota can't say anything more meaningful through the tens (hundreds?) of millions of dollars it is spending on this ad campaign then they no longer deserve my business.

It's too bad Toyota decided that appealing to my appreciation of its well-made, dependable and economic to operate cars can no longer be told in a compelling manner. Instead they revert to some bogus, customer ego-stroking gobbligook.

The marketing department and the agency should be ashamed of themselves.