Monday, December 20, 2010

“Let’s be honest.” Lexus is the Abomination of the Week.

Toyota has for years gone to the edge of decency and good taste and beyond with its Lexus holiday ads complete with the big red bow on top of a Lexus. If memory serves me right, the first time Toyota ran these ads during the Christmas season provoked not a little controversy. Hawking luxury cars as Christmas gifts in such an in-your-face manner screamed holiday excess even for those whose Christmases tend to be secular.

But this year, Toyota is going even more over the top with a campaign that smugly proclaims, “Let’s be honest. No one ever wished for a smaller holiday gift.” Yes, ‘tis the season to be greedy.

Now, for some reason, I cannot remember seeing this ad on TV for the past several days. Did Toyota detect such revulsion at their campaign that they quietly pulled it? I have not found anything definitive but let us hope so. (Grr, I just saw one of the ads on CNBC, the one above actually, before I posted this. My hope is dashed.)

In contrast, Hyundai is running a holiday ad campaign that is so winsome, I stop to watch the ads. Here is one of them:

The campaign has a happy, light-hearted tone that makes me smile. And the music, along with the visuals, is both quirky and pleasant. If there is any heavy-handedness ala Lexus, it is very well concealed.

By the way, the duo in the ads is Pomplamoose. I suspect the quirkiness of the campaign and the use of Pomplamoose is aimed at younger car buyers.

I have not heard of this indie duo before myself (I am sadly not as in touch with the new music scene as I used to be.), but they may have gained a fan.


peggy38 said...

I have always been put off by the Lexus ads. But I have always idly wondered who in the world would buy one as a Christmas gift. I just realized the answer is enough people do to make the campaign worthwhile to Toyota for many years now. All I can do is shake my head at the thought.

Here is hoping that it won't work as well this year leading to the cancellation of the ads next year. That would be one benefit to the economic downturn and one for which we can fervently hope.

JC Fremont said...

That Lexus is firmly wrapped around the olive tree (a la Tom Friedman, a.k.a. Mr. Flat Earth). As a bonus, try profiling the personnel in the ad...and compare that to a lot of recent ads for just about everything.

The Hyundai ad did indeed cause me to smile. Very cute.