Ad Nauseam: Toyota’s (Passive-Aggressive) Ransom Note to America

Toyota wants you to know that it’s here for you. And not just as a
car maker, as the company explains in this spot, ironically entitled
"Community."

Like GM before them, Toyota wants to make sure you realize just how much their company means to you. Here’s our voice-over:

"We acknowledge you are coming to despise automobiles,
but your nation depends on our industry for so many jobs that, even if
we only manufactured cardboard cut-out cars that you had to carry down
your few remaining walkable Main Streets, you’d still need us,
America."

Accompanying the ad is the aggressively cloying and patently manipulative "Beyond Cars"
web site —
which if nothing else should serve as an irresistible culture-jamming
target. What do we see, Toyota? For starters, we see a world where your product doesn’t kill people.

And you? What do you see?

 

  • Well, Toyota is simply taking advantage of a situation we put ourselves in. Toyota didn’t make us dependent on cars. They started in a country where you could actually get around really well without one. So what did they do? They saw us.

    So if their commercial is implying what you think it’s implying, they’re 100% right. Toyota isn’t going to change the world for us, we have to.

  • Ah yes, “community”. As in, “the community despoiled by policies that support our products”.

    You know, I’m glad that “the market” chose a United States that was ready for such a compassionate corporation to sell its good in. You know “the market”? The one paid for with Federal Highway Administration dollars, mortgage guarantees by Fannie Mae, and special tax decutions from the IRS for owning a suburban home and driving a large vehicle for “commercial” purposes (i.e. the realtor SUV rebate).

    Funny, in that ad, I don’t see any cars parked on the street, nor do I see any mega-highways, nor strip malls – all the land uses that Toyota’s vehicles are made for. The car has been the death of traditional downtown areas all over the U.S. and the world. This commercial is an insane attempt to say “we are actually helping you guys in your traditional trade networks! (by removing your capital to our shareholders and disrupting your local markets with our subsidized transportation products)”.

    No, I don’t blame Toyota – I just think this advertisement is dishonest and borders on propaganda.

  • DJB

    Hey, that neighborhood has no free off-street parking. You can’t build that anymore! I don’t know why we think of ourselves as living in small towns with main streets like in the video. We mostly live in giant suburban agglomerations punctuated by occasional malls of the regular and strip variety.

    Cars are essential to most of our daily lives because we drank the low density Kool-Aid. Walkable neighborhoods make activists of us all, and un-walkable neighborhoods make us all Toyota customers (with a few exceptions).

  • will someone just sue toyota for this shit already, please

  • building the case…
    this is the nickel mine the batteries begin their life at

    http://www.sprol.com/2005/06/the-inco-mine-at-sudbury-ontario/comment-page-1/
    http://contexts.org/socimages/files/2008/12/nickel_tailings_361.jpg

    still nothing about parking structures…

  • thnx for sharing

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Public Spaces

|
Today on the Streetsblog Network, Portlandize is talking about freedom — the freedom to move about your community without fear, the liberty to make use of public spaces as a human being, not as the operator of a motor vehicle. It’s a post that gets to the heart of the issues we talk about on […]

Gabe Klein’s Advice for Los Angeles

|
Gabe Klein is one of the United States’ top livability leaders. From the private sector, he became a maverick city transportation department head for Washington D.C., then Chicago. In leading those DOTs, he championed innovative multi-modal approaches that activate streets. He embraces bicycling, walking, and new technologies. This year, he has a new book out titled […]

What Went Unsaid at Last Night’s Debate

|
At last night’s presidential debate in Nassau County, the best opening for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to talk about transportation policy came when undecided voter Phillip Tricolla asked the following question of the President: QUESTION: Your energy secretary, Steven Chu, has now been on record three times stating it’s not policy of his department […]
STREETSBLOG USA

Ford Still Trying to Get Millennials to Like Them

|
Poor Ford. They’re trying so hard. They’re like the Cassandra of the car world, foretelling the future of less driving, more transportation options, a preference for car-lite urban living. They’ve been re-designing their Mustang to appeal to younger folks and stressing their move away from cars and toward “mobility opportunities” (like driving cars). And now […]