- Jul 22, 2011
AdSpotting: Prius goes funny... At Last
Steve Nash's trash-talk dance takes some of the granola out of Prius
Company: Toyota Motor Sales
Ad Agency: Saatchi and Saatchi
Campaign:"What Happens After Practice"
What We Like: Going to back when Toyota launched its very amusing campaign for its Sienna "Swagger Wagon" TV ad and Youtube videos, the Japanese automaker has been looking for ways to engage consumers by not taking its very practical models so damn seriously. The Prius is an unabashed market success. It defines the hybrid segment. And it is the market leader in fuel economy. It does everything but run on actual crunchy granola in the gas tank. Prius ads do not need to play up the fact that they are super fuel efficient. Everyone knows. So, as we showed you a few days ago, turning to this approach of having NBA star Steve Nash talk about how driven he is, as if it was a Nike ad, is a creative homerun. His deadpan monologue about how competitive he is, talking about making constant adjustments and improvements to his game, while driving a Prius and finally edging out a grandma for a parking space is a way to stand out from the usual hybrid ad that merely screams the highway fuel economy rating. Gotta love Nash's trash-talk dance at the end too.
What We Don't Like: Tough one here. The agency nailed it.
Strategy: Prius has owned the hybrid market. But it is undeniable that Ford Fusion Hybrid and the Dearborn, MI automaker's coming C-Max all hybrid brand will begin to cut into Prius's perceived leadership. If there is a weakness in the Prius brand at all, it is that it is widely viewed as a car for celery eaters. Honestly, the current Prius is a bit bloodless to drive. Pumping some hemoglobin into it via clever advertising that doesn't take the car so deadly serious seems like a decent idea for a brand that is this mature.
Watch the video after the jump and give it your own grade below.