Monday, December 14, 2009

Yaris brand Fail

The last 24 hours has been a Titanic disaster for the Toyota brand. Some say any publicity is good publicty but I say getting publically slammed (pun intended) in the media (The Age, Herald Sun, mX etc) cannot do much for one's branding.

In a Mumbrealla thread, Micha McDonald creator of the ad (below) defended the 'short film' saying it was not made for TV but I really don't think this is the point dude.

The fact is that the communication has Toyota branding on it. It has now been seen by over 20,000 people (as of today) on Youtube and hundreds of thousands more on news sites around the country / around the world. That's a lot of people pal. As Toyota is a family brand this is TOTALLY inappropriate. Social media is another platform just like a TV ad, magazines and billboards and there can be no case for going against brand values in any.

When it comes to social media execution, brands like with any other communictions channel have to abide by their branding style guide. This may have been a great execution for a nightclub but as a brand this turmoil is about as good for Toyota as "SRS airbags are to throw your head into."

Unfortunaetly for Micha, I think he would have been the one to be "on his back well before 11" this morning.


  1. Where to appoint the blame for this one? This Toyota agency-vs-agency-pitch-a-campaign campaign always seemed to have the iSnacks about it and it seems they got just that. To say that Toyota is a family brand and leave it at that would really put any creative in a corner. I think that the Foundry had a good shot at painting the Yaris in its own colours (as opposed to just another Toyota) but in the end didn't quite hit the mark. My conclusion is Toyota was on the back foot from the start with this whole social media compeition and they got what they deserved.

  2. I think you're right that not all toyotas should be branded the same way but I think there are overarching brand boundaries / values that shouldn't be pushed. This execution I think oversteps that mark.

    I liked their approach re pitching the business out to different agencies. I think as SM execution is such a fresh concept that agencies need to prove themselves first so big ups in my opinion. Just probably should have authorised the comp winner...ouch. And for that oversight I guess they got what they deserved...