Peace of Mind

January 14, 2011
This ad was created by Toyota Motor Sales of the United States. It is advertised towards the average, early to late 20-year-old middle class, Americans. The ad is in full color ad has a SUV with two people in the middle of an island of nature with a rainbow overhead. There is foliage in this ad including apple trees, mushrooms, ferns and other trees. A bunny, butterflies, and a deer are also present in this ad. The two people seem relaxed and in a pleasant state. The male has a butterfly landing on his hand. It states at the top, “Peace of Mind. Complimentary with every new Toyota.” And then says, “Introducing Toyota Care, featuring a worry-free maintenance plan with roadside assistance” below it. What this doesn’t say until the fine print at the bottom, which states that this “peace of mind” only lasts for two years or 25 thousand miles—and only for newly bought Toyotas. The problem with this only applying to newly bought cars is that the customers that bought a car last year, before they implemented Toyota Care are getting the short handed.
This ad was a diversion of the controversy that happened earlier this year with the sticking throttle. During the beginning of 2010 more than 5 million Toyota cars were recalled due to the possibility of sticking accelerators. This ad makes it seem like you can have peace and mind while driving a new Toyota…however, I wouldn’t feel comfortable at the seat of Toyota with the accelerator sticking. Having a SUV in this picture is going against the nature of the advertisement. SUVs are one of the more inefficient vehicles…then say a Camry or Prius.
They used great timing of this ad campaign right after the big scandal with sticking pedals earlier in the year. They released this new safety system in efforts to bring more customers into buying their new line of both Scion and Toyota brand cars. The ad states Toyota Care is included for two years or 25,000 miles—however, they do not state how much it would cost the consumer after the two years is up.
This picture gives off a warm and fuzzy glow. Everyone is happy; they’re in touch with nature and look like they are having fun doing it. Showing sentimental pictures of a man and woman in nature, especially with the race to better MPGs, will get buyers to subconsciously want to get a Toyota car.
This ad has underlying material in it…in the ad there is a man and woman, this is suggesting that in order to have peace of mind, you must be married, or in a relationship between a man and woman. Just a man and woman. This makes it offensive to both homosexuals and people that are for same sex marriage. This ad seems very surrealistic, almost to the point of a hallucinogenic appearance. If this is taken as a drug reference, people who live a sober life may be offended. Cars are not driven in the scene present in the advertisement and people living in reality may be offended.
This ad implies nothing will ever go wrong with your car, and you will have peace of mind while driving a Toyota. You won’t get in an accident, your car won’t break down—you will experience utmost tranquility while driving your car. Not. The truth is that machines break, people are dumb while driving, you will eventually have something wrong with your car, you might even get in an accident. That’s reality. Explaining that and making the ad more truthful would help this ad a lot. If the ad had a car on the side of the road that communicated that Toyota was there no matter what, would turn this bad ad into a good one.





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