As an amateur student of automotive advertising, I’m fascinated by this ad for the Prius V. It starts off reasonably, showing all the enormous things that will fit inside the new, larger Prius… but since the client always wants his product in the shot for the maximum amount of airtime, the visuals have to be twisted to put the Prius V inside the things which fit inside a Prius V. In the memetically-omnipresent words of Xzibit… sup dawg, we heard you like Priuses, so we put a Prius inside your Prius so you can drive a Prius while you hold a party inside an amp inside a Prius.
The red guitar amplifier featured throughout the ad is a Dr. Z Maz 18, which sells for about $1,700. (Nope, I don’t have one; I filled the “18-watt” spot in my home performance space with a Phil X Evil Robot.) The Maz 18 is an awfully hip piece of equipment and carries a lot of credibility among the twentysomething set. With that in mind, I went out to see what people on the Internet thought of the ad. Excerpts and an interesting photo after the jump.
From Harmony Central:
“They’ve crossed over to the mainstream. We need a new underground hipster amp maker”
“blind spots and shitty handling…”
“every prius I see on the road is driving slow as fuck.”
“I saw it as well. Good advertisement for Dr. Z. It didn’t make me want to buy a Toyota but I think I might need another amp. Commercialism at its finest :-)”
“I saw it too. I had the TV on but the sound was down. I was too busy trying to check out the amp to catch the car company. I think it had only a few control knobs. It was strang — the amp was sittign inside the car, and didn’t the commercial superimpose some video over the grille cloth, like the amp was a TV set — or am I having another flashback?”
From Birds And Moons — The PRS Forum
“Dang – thought maybe it was a promo tie-in; like when you buy a Subaru, you used to get some kind of snow board. Oh well – will have to watch. The wife even noticed the Honda (?) commercial where they pop the back of the mini-van and there’s a Marshall half stack.”
“I have two Prii. Usually, one of ’em has a Axe-FX II in the back of it. Maybe, I ought to get a Maz-38 for the other.”
“having said that, as an employee for a honda dealership, i can’t help but believe there is an ulterior motive at play. think about it. sure, honda’s add with the new odyssey is uber cool with the judas priest song and marshall half stack. however, while marshalls are recognizable, their current offerings pale in comparison to the plexis and jcms. some say they are just riding on their reputation and history. the toyota, however, has a killer sounding boutique amp who’s quality is far superior to the former amp.”
That was about all I could find. If Toyota was trying to reach out to actual guitarists, they didn’t exactly knock it out of the park. On the other hand, however, Toyota’s probably smart enough to know that your average guitarist couldn’t afford a replacement tire for a first-gen Prius, much less a brand-new V model. As for that “Honda/Marshall” ad, you can find comments on it at The Marshall Forum. Be warned: this thread will destroy your faith in humanity.
Honestly, I’d expected that more young musicians would find the Prius interesting, relevant, and desirable. Perhaps it’s a hit with the 40-somethings who can afford both a new Prius and a Dr. Z amp. The next Prius ad could run something like this:
Hillbilly in truck:”Hey, how many watts you got in there?”
Regular Guy:“Eighteen, plus 250KwH.”