By on May 3, 2010

The ironic rap video… yeah, there’s something the potential minivan driver will find hip and edgy.

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26 Comments on “Toyota’s Minivan Hip Replacement...”


  • avatar
    IGB

    Yup, milk came out my nose. Mission accomplished.

    • 0 avatar
      ott

      Good thing that Momma buys paper towels in bulk then…

      Genius is the word that comes to mind. I also watched the other commercials from this campaign, (take the time, they are hilarious!)and yep, they pretty much describe the new class of minivan drivers of this era. Toyota will sell a ton of these based just on this campaign. Well done! GM, are you listening, “faithful friend?”

  • avatar
    MRL325i

    Marcia Brady is really aging well.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    I think you have to understand that the kind of people who are buying minivans now are the kind of people who would find this kind of vaguely self-deprecating irony funny.

    Remember, we’re talking about late-twenty/thirty-something parents; a bit different than the trailing-edge boomers in how they can be sold to. And heck, the ones who haven’t given up on oblique fashion-chasing are going to buy crossovers anyway, and the ones without kids don’t care.

    And yes, this commericial nails me and my friends pretty much perfectly. I think I was wearing a similar feather boa this weekend under the same circumstances.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      As usual, you are spot on. I’m in my late 20s. I’ve been married for 3 year and my wife and I are about ready to start a family. We’re of the internet/youtube generation and I was busting a gut watching this video. I was trying to convince the wife to give a Sienna an honest look but she was set on a 4Runner. Now, I’m not complaining, because I love my 4Runner, but this ad campaign is a home run for the generation that grew up on the computer watching parody videos.

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    Toyota’s ad agency’s message is: We get parenting – especially duty, responsibility and sacrifice.

    There’s no escape when you’re a parent. It’s comforting to hear someone is on your side. Even if it is a giant faceless corporation. This is smart advertising.

    • 0 avatar

      Toyota is doing pretty well at generational marketing. This Sienna ad is in the same vein as the airline-themed Avalon commercial which is aimed at the Buick demographic. These ads resonate well with the target audiences, though most other age groups will find them rather hokey.

      Last year my wife and I traded our Jetta TDI for a new Odyssey. I miss the Jetta, but the minivan really is the ultimate family vehicle. The minivan is practical, unpretentious and has acres of space for the kids and all their stuff with room to spare.

    • 0 avatar
      Motorhead10

      Pig_Iron is spot on. These ads are also jabbing at those parents that are too cool to drive minivans, even though dollar for dollar, the utility of the van is miles ahead. I had this discussion with a collegue today. Recently married with offspring on the way. She wants to drop $60k+ on a Denali. It has to have a sunroof, too. Ten years into my parenting career and a minivan owner for 6 of them, I have lived it. Overpriced, oversized, overhyped SUVs for 1 child families are beyond foolish. Just plain stupid.

  • avatar
    xyzzy

    I found that video, as well as the Sienna ads that are along those lines that I’ve seen on TV, to be completely cringe-worthy. But as others have noted, it’s not aimed at me.

  • avatar
    akitadog

    Haha! That video’s awesome. Wife and I drive hatchbacks now, but are hoping to not have to upgrade any further than a compact to mid-size wagon in the future (we have a 5mo daughter). A minivan’s not likely, unless we have a happy little accident that brings us a third kid.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    I despise these ads (and the fictional parents in them) with a passion. I am in the age demographic that they are supposedly aiming at, though I do not have kids or a need for a minivan.

    There is something off-putting and wrong about these people. I realize it is supposed to be over the top, but for me they go beyond fake and funny right into annoying and grating.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      …though I do not have kids or a need for a minivan.

      And that’s why this doesn’t work for you. When you’re a parent, this stuff is still cringeworthy, but it’s a sympathetic cringe rather than one of revulsion.

      A minivan really does require you to put ego aside, much more than any other supposedly-utilitarian vehicle, be it a wagon (which says “hey, I’m cool and hip and European!”) or a pick-up truck (which says “I’m a hard-workin’ man”). A minivan, truly, says nothing. This is not, in today’s culture, an easy supposition for most people to handle (and minivan sales reflect that.

      Advertisers have to take the irony angle out of self-defense.

    • 0 avatar
      drivebywire

      I despise these vehicles. Although I feel that way about pretty much everything Toyota makes.

      However, I do find these ads amusing, as a father of 3.

      Personally, I’ve stuck with a Volvo wagon and 7-passenger SUV, and have had no regrets.

      Minivans are way over-hyped and way under-exposed as lame vehicles. ;-)

    • 0 avatar
      vento97

      I despise these ads (and the fictional parents in them) with a passion.

      …especially when those fictional parents are neurotic yuppies…

  • avatar
    john.fritz

    1:07

    As far as I could make it.

  • avatar

    I own one of these minivans.
    They are great for MAKING babies; even better than for driving WITH babies.
    All stretched out in the back…. Open a window, look at the stars…. Oh yeah….
    Leave the children at home, I say.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      They are great for MAKING babies

      One, you need to remove the carseats. This is far more of a mood-killer than, eg, fumbling a prophylactic ever was.

      Two, I don’t know about you, but after the first two kids everyone is too damn tired to even try. I have no idea how people manage a third.

    • 0 avatar

      Ah, but you need to be prepared…
      First flip down the seats, then get a bottle of wine, then say goodbye to the babysitter and then you can drive your wife to the beach. After all that, the mood is guaranteed….

  • avatar

    More than anything else it speaks to how mainstream Hip-Hop has become: It’s been 24 years since Run-DMC/Aerosmith’s remake of “Walk This Way” moved rap from behind the shadows and onto Top 40 Radio Stations all over the U.S.A. Eminem came to the mainstream with “The Real Slim Shady” ten years ago. The demographics fit, therefore this seems like s smart move by Toyota. Besides it’s fun.

    But even if Toyota signed Eminem tomorrow as a spokesperson, not even Marshall Mathers can change the fact that FWD MINIVANS SHALL NEVER BE HIP!

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    I’m not the target demographic either, and so it may be that if I don’t get these ads I never will. I was hoping someone could explain to me how it is that a TV commercial that portrays owners of Toyota mini-vans as vain self absorbed posers sells Toyota minivans. What is the theme? “I’m really a dull bore but I don’t know it, and I think this van is hot?” Or… is it really Gen X-Y taking a shot at their boomer parents who acted this way only their soundtrack was the white album?
    If it works for Toyota, who am I to argue?

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    This is actually the first time I’ve seen a Sport-trim Sienna and wow, does it look better than the god-awful Venza-derived mess of a front end on the other trims.

  • avatar
    N8iveVA

    while i’ll never be in the market for a mini-van, i thought this was amusing. Squeezing the nipple at 2:20 was a little dirty. :P

  • avatar
    eddie.willers

    Yeeew!
    I don’t know if I’m gonna’ blow chunks at the ‘hipness’ – yet more evidence of cross-cultural degradation – or ignore such dreck with a cynical snort.

    Either way, the numbers may well tell us whether this campaign hits home or not.

  • avatar
    gsnfan

    I don’t get why people hate this ad. While I won’t be buying a minivan for years, I like the parody style and how the ad shows that minivans aren’t boring, ordinary cars driven by boring, ordinary people.

  • avatar
    daga

    God that’s terrible. Makes me long for ‘beaches’. that’s so painfully trying hard that it is actually infuriating, which is rare for a commercial (although Toyota seems to have the nack as the ‘saved by zero’ campaign proved). This production should have called it quits after the smirnoff iced tea campaign. I assume it is the same and I’ll bet that the smirnoff video was either shown in the pitch or was the brief. What’s next, “dodge, just drive it”? Baaaaaad ad.

  • avatar
    BTEFan

    This video is hilarious! I no longer refer to Sienna as a Sienna, its the SwaggerWagon. And its pretty effective. The video popped up on all our friends with kids’ Facebook pages. The Swaggerwagon has its own Youtube channel and all the vignettes on the Youtube channel are funny in a “Modern Family” sort of way. The family has the right amount of delusion and sarcasm.

    IF we decide to do a Brangelina and adopt a rainbow of children from around the world, I would consider one where I wouldn’t have before.


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