The Junkyard Find ’79 Corona we saw earlier was a pretty nice car, but it was a regular sedan with an old-fashioned trunk. Just as Chevrolet buyers could buy a Nova with a hatchback in 1979, Toyota shoppers had the option of getting a Corona Liftback. Let’s tune into the old days of analog television and watch how Toyota USA’s marketers pitched this fine automobile.
So, we have a mean-looking tough old guy with a combover— probably just got back from advising the Proceso on interrogation techniques in Buenos Aires, from the look of him— driving a ’79 Corona Liftback around a suburban American neighborhood. Through clenched teeth, he commands the viewer to get with the program and buy this extremely sensible car. Few viewers did.
Now, let’s watch an ad for a same-year Detroit (or, rather, Franco-Detroit) hatchback. You get facts and figures, twisty roads, interesting camera angles, and a voiceover that doesn’t sound like Dick Cheney as president of your homeowners’ association, berating you over the dandelions on your lawn.