Adventures in Marketing: Is the Toyota Corolla Too Sexy?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

We know, we know — you’re torn on the answer to this age-old question. Well, Toyota thinks its 2020 Corolla sedan, which adopts the platform and powertrain changes seen on the 2019 hatch, is hot, sizzling stuff. And you will, too, it seems.

So much so, you’re liable to engage in a lewd public act, possibly encouraging a visit from the cops.

Allow this writer to suggest that it’s downright gross when automakers go there in their ads. The suggestion of sex — the promise of it — is a mainstay in automotive marketing, but things get cheap and unseamly when the actual act is implied, especially when it takes place in the car. Recall Corey’s takedown of Volkswagen’s “sex car” commercial.

No, the copulation is supposed to take place off-screen, perhaps in a low-end motor lodge two blocks from the beach.

Nevertheless, Toyota’s new ad push for the 2020 Corolla includes a spot titled “Rainy Day,” in which we see the employees of an automated car wash look on with shock and disgust as a new Corolla sedan rolls down the line, its flanks gratuitously slathered in suds, jets of foam splashing everywhere. In one scene, there’s a hint of shadowy movement in the backseat. Just a trace, mind you.

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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4 of 25 comments
  • FreedMike FreedMike on May 03, 2019

    OK, so here's what happened: these guys spent the last 45 minutes making out, and desperately sought a place to...ahem...complete things.

  • Xtoyota Xtoyota on May 03, 2019

    Nothing sexy about a Toyota :=)

  • Dougjp Dougjp on May 03, 2019

    Its a Toyota, the conclusion about what was going on in the back seat is wrong. Obviously they were doing drugs in order to enter another mental dimension where they thought their Corolla was a Ferrari. People need help dealing day to day with....owning a Corolla!

  • SoCalMikester SoCalMikester on May 03, 2019

    obviously a fantasy. ive never seen a car wash open in so cal on a rainy day