Toyota’s Nerd Marketing Sure Is Awkward

Toyota’s Nerd Marketing Sure Is Awkward

Toyota is the world’s biggest auto maker. It must be doing something right. This ad, though, isn’t one of them.

In the U.S., Toyota is rolling out a Corolla campaign that features virtual idol Miku Hatsune. With the character’s popularity and connection to motorspots, her appearance makes sense somewhat— just not in America.

I know people who like Miku Hatsune. Perhaps you do, too. If not, read this. But my mum and my dad, who are Toyota’s target customers, have no fucking clue who or what Miku Hatsune is.

That’s okay, this campaign isn’t for them. Toyota has regular, “normal” ads for them. Toyota’s Miku commercial is incredibly niche, aimed at Americans who are interested in Japanese, which would be fine if the execution wasn’t so bad. Everything feels forced and downright silly.

When the ad’s announcer—his voice is truly awful—says the Corolla is the official car of Miku Hatsune, it’s lost, wasted and meaningless. Toyota America, take a tip from Toyota Australia and use ninja kittens, not white-washed virtual Japanese idols.

In the spot, Miku Hatsune’s digital modelling is clumsy and poor (compared with Sega’s character modelling). The same goes for the script, which makes no sense—something about big dreams, dreaming big dreams, building big works of art, making compact works of art, and that there’s nothing small about that. Bwah?

This is followed by an ear-piercing Miku screech.

The spot ends with the Sega-produced Miku Hatsune concert from last year. This year’s concert was handled by the company previously known as 5pb, and it sucked. Like this commercial.


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  • I’m with the guys above me..

    Holy shiz… that is one fluffed up ad!

    Seriosuly, that has to be the worst ad of the year, no matter what you’re a fan of.

  • can some one tell me who the hell is miku? i guess that anime girl but why would they advertise with her outside japan?

    • Miku Hatsune is a character created to help sell the “vocaloid” program. Basically it’s software that allows a person to generate a voice to create songs. Check her out on youtube for more information. What made Miku different to the previous software is the fact they focused on a character and used a voice actress to get her vocals.

      About the ad, the animation is bad, as for the squeal, I expected it because she does it at least twice in “the world is mine” which is the song playing in the background. But to advertise this in America? It makes more sense to do so in Japan.

  • I love Hatsune Miku. I’ve got figures, I’ve got albums, I’ve got the PSP games.

    But this is like… on your first day of school, your mum comes in with your Sailor Moon lunchbox and tells you “HI HONEYBUNNY I LOVE YOU SO MUCH DON’T LET THE OTHER KIDS PICK ON YOU” or something.

    So embarrassing.

  • This is false advertising, everyone knows Hatsune Miku loves BMW Z4s! Specifically the Studie GT300 car. Damn lousy Toyota.

  • What I think is that its a total shame that people that have done no research on Miku. They do not fully understand what Hatsune Miku does.
    She is a Programme generated by Yamaha to allow normal people like you and me to become music producers, without the need for a giant budget and supporting company. It allows younger people to fine-tune their skills as future composers and producers.

    It is obvious that the people commenting and the person who wrote this article have no intention of even typing in ‘Hatsune Miku’ on Google and see what Wikipedia says about Hatsune Miku.

    And please. If the animation is that bad, please, everyone that commented, show me what you claim is good animation. Post what YOU have programmed, given a voice to, and animated. Good luck.

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