Thursday, March 11, 2010

Burnt Sienna

Remember when Dodge insinuated that minivans were for pussies, then immediately turned around and tried to sell you a minivan? (It was like three posts ago.) Well, Toyota's taking a different tactic in the minivan war. A different annoying tactic.

You know who has great commercials? Sonic! What if we basically copied those commercials and then made them about the car the people are sitting in and not what they're eating? Get that one actor too. He's hilarious.

Husband: "Well, we got a minivan, for the kids."

You know, you can put kids into cars that aren't minivans. Are minivans good for kids? Sure, I guess. But if you really have the antipathy for minivans that's implied here... you don't have to get a minivan. See: 8 million horrible soccer moms driving like fucking Ford Expeditions or whatever.

Wife: "Right."
Husband: "But we got a Sienna... to match how awesome we are."

As if the Office-like pseudo-confessional wasn't obvious enough, how about this guy just totally channels Ed Helms? I mean, I'm sure Ed Helms is not the only guy in the world to ever do a character like that, but it is the exact vibe I get here.

Husband: "I like to call it the Swagger Wagon."

If these people existed, and were as earnest in their douchebaggery as this couple is, how many friends would they have? Zero? Some sort of imaginary number?

Wife: "It's actually a lot like our family. Stylish, modern, super good-looking."

It feels like I've been asking this for years now. (In fact, I have been asking this for years now.) Why do companies insist on selling their products with obnoxious assholes as the spokespeople? Didn't it used to be the other way around? Think about how Camel had to stop using Joe Camel because, basically, he was too cool, which made kids want to smoke. Think about various celebrity endorsements. The idea was supposed to be that other people who used the product were cool, attractive, and pretty much everything the viewer wanted to be. I know we're in a jaded, postmodern age, but we've gone through the looking glass if the ideal spokesperson for a product is someone who isn't cool or attractive but just thinks they are, and announces this to everyone in grating, self-absorbed fashion.

Husband: "You know, sometimes when we roll up in our Swagger Wagon, and people see our style... uh, I don't want to say that they get jealous..."
Wife: "Yeah you do."
Husband: "Yes I do."

As if this weren't annoying enough on its own, the ad flashes "Daddy Like" and "Mommy Like" on the screen during this section. This is actually supposed to be the campaign's slogan, and let me tell you, it's so fucking terrible that I would rather buy a Prius I knew to be malfunctioning than buy a Sienna and take the risk that someone would think I thought this ad was even remotely tolerable. Holy fuck.

Announcer: "Meet the family, and the new Sienna, on YouTube."

I've met the family. They've been met. And if you think that this ad made me want to spend one more fucking second in their presence, Toyota, you are sorely mistaken.

Okay, I did watch a few of the others. But if I didn't write for this blog? Not a chance. I'll spare you the agony of going through any of them, but suffice it to say they're exactly as awful as you'd think. If you're interested in torturing yourself, start with this one, in which we are asked to believe that the Sienna is so great you can use it as some sort of spa. Really.


Quivering P. Landmass said...

It's telling that if you follow the "Spokesdouches" tag, the most recent post involves a faux-Ed Helms, and the second most recent involves actual Ed Helms.

Windier E. Megatons said...

I like Ed Helms as an actor, but the whole point of most of his characters is that they are annoying. Certainly that's the point of Andy Bernard on The Office. So why would you try to use that character straight-up as a way to try and sell me on your product?