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Home > Media

Toyota: Built by robots, driven by selfish wankers

7 March 2005

The Toyota Verso advert offers a genuinely depressing snapshot of contemporary life. A car arrives at a windswept beach under a concrete sky. This scene alone was enough to leave us shuddering at painful childhood memories of rain-lashed holidays in Llandudno, but the misery doesn't end here.

As the story of the advert develops, we discover that the car is driven by a mad-eyed bloke who looks as though he spends the rest of the week bullying other people in some benighted office full of arsehole sales reps. We learn that this tragic cunt is intent on going jetskiing - and has taken his wife and young children.

He leaps onto a jetski and zooms off as his wife and kids sit in the car looking bored and weary. Payback occurs when Mr Jetski returns from his selfish pleasure seeking and his wife flicks the central locking, trapping him outside in the horrid weather whereupon he prances around the car like a twat.

You have to wonder what their sex life must be like.

One message of this advert inadvertently seems to be 'it's normal to put your own trivial pleasure ahead of your family'. The other message of the advert is 'Toyota Versos are driven by arseholes'.

We can't imagine this is what Toyota intended, but it's yet another of those adverts that have precisely the opposite effect to what the client wants (clients, who, it must be noted, appear to be too intellectually insecure to overrule the twaddle their ad agency has come up with.)

Other examples include the Carlsberg adverts, whereby various international long-distance lorry drivers are fucked over by the Danes, who want to keep their beer and 'hate to see it leave'. There are three problems with this concept:

A. Carlsberg is piss. Any country that produced this forgettable brew would be only too happy to see it disappearing over the border into less discerning countries.

B. Even if Carlsberg were genuinely delicious, what right have these rogue Danes to cripple their own country's export markets?

C. The overriding message that emerges from the advert is 'Devious bastards drink Carlsberg.'

Producers of dipping foods also seem to love portraying their own consumers as the sort of people you'd emigrate to avoid. The makers of Pringles and Dorritos seem to be locked in some grim 'dip war' at the moment with both pushing their own dips and dippables in equally loathsome adverts.

The ads for both brands are fairly similar, featuring the kind of 20-somethings who are so spunky and krazy you want to saw their heads off. Frankly, we can't think of a less appealing way of spending an evening than with a bunch of trendy ex-Bristol University wankers for whom savoury dips seem to hold the same level of excitement as snorting coke off Keira Knightley's breasts.

It's deeply strange, this anti-advertising. Who needs guerrilla advertising to undermine consumerism when real advertising actively makes you not want to be associated in any way with the product it's meant to be shifting?

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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