Recently, Toyota has produced some of the most entertaining commercials in the auto industry. Following up on their hugely successful "Swagger Wagon" campaign for the Toyota Sienna, the Japanese automaker has released a commercial for the Prius hybrid that features Phoenix Suns superstar Steve Nash.
The ad starts out serious, employing a tone reminiscent of many Gatorade or Nike commercials. Nash describes what it took to allow him to "compete as an athlete at the highest level" as shots of him practicing alone in a dark gym lead the viewer to believe Nash may be hawking an athletic product aimed at those dreaming of taking their game to the professional level.
But then the ad takes a turn, as we see Nash driving a Prius while out (we assume) running errands. As he narrates his need to constantly find competition, he speeds through a wide open parking lot full of empty spaces, needlessly swiping a spot from an elderly woman. To add insult, he gets out of the car and taunts her with some slick dance moves, as the woman yells and honks at him, "Crazy idiot!"
Toyota seems to be employing a strategy similar to that which found them so much success in their "Swagger Wagon" campaign: Acknowledging the inherent blandness of a minivan – or in this case, the "crunchy granola" hybrid hatchback – and using characters that take excitement to a ridiculous level. The contrast is entertaining and memorable. And could, quite possibly, go viral.
"Swagger Wagon" was very successful on the Internet, with one of the ads in the campaign boasting over 9.3 million views on YouTube – meaning that a large amount of people actively searched for and actually wanted to see the ad.
The latest Prius commercial could very well enjoy similar success.
What do you think of the ad? Let us know in the comments.