Toyota has launched its "Why Not?" campaign, the "biggest, broadest corporate campaign in its history" according to Ad Age. Toyota would not discuss how much it will cost but the spending on the national TV, print and online ads in America, is expected to well exceed the $40 M they spent last year on ads. The campaign will run through March and focus on three corporate pillars; environmental commitment, economic impact and social responsibility. The ads were created by Dentsu America, New York; Toyota choose the theme of "Why Not?" after 6 months of consumer research.

Why is Toyota doing this? Toyota has received a lot of bad press recently such as green groups attacking them over a proposed CAFE standard and losing a recommendation from Consumer Reports. We admit to adding a few articles to the pile, noting decreases in Highlander's safety rating and 2009 Corolla's fuel efficiency. Steve Sturm, Toyota's VP-strategic research, says there is no connection between the new ads and the recent bad press, that the ads are just a way for America to better understand Toyota's corporate image.

The website toyota.com/whynot has two print ads, video of the TV commercial "Harmony" and making of the TV commercial. The Harmony commercial features a car made from twigs, mud, etc. by three people that slowly fades in time lapse images into the natural environment. The voice over asks "Can a car company grow in harmony with the environment? Why not?" and explains Toyota is working towards cars with zero emissions and "zero waste" in everything they do. Ad Age is not amused writing "striving isn't accomplishing, and it strikes us as a bit disingenuous to be selling some unattainable vision of the future."

We will have more on the "Why Not?" ads as they appear through March. Tell us what you think of the ads and if you see any of them we miss when they appear on NBC Nightly News, Meet the Press, Nightline, 20-plus magazines and even on PBS, part of a sponsorship package of Nature.

[Source: Ad Age]

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