Certain cars tend to take on a reputation of their own. Despite the intentions of automakers for a car to be one thing, if a specific type of person is constantly buying that car (see; Subaru/hippies) there is no sense fighting that persona. That’s just part of what makes this 2016 Toyota Prius ad so weird.
Titled “Beyond Possible-Follow Your Heart,” this ad is absurd on several levels. First, there is the notion of having a sporting fellow in a leather jacket behind the wheel. That indicates “sports car,” which this hybrid is not. An automaker should lean into a car’s strengths. If you ask a Prius owner, its strengths include preventing the death’s of millions of baby seals every time they drive it. So the look and feel of this ad is off…then the techno kicks in.
I get that it is important to show how the fourth-generation Prius was tested, but this is a little absurd. The techno, the quick cuts, it all seems like a John Woo film. Oh wait…
The doves!!! Well, probably not doves- maybe pigeons, but c’mon, this looks like a film school student’s Woo homage project. How could this video get any worse, you ask? Well, how about having the driver slam on the wrong pedal?
Considering where the beat drops and the next shot is of the Prius impossibly peeling out in some dystopian construction yard, the shot was definitely supposed to be of the accelerator. Hmm, maybe they just want to emphasize the new hybrid’s regenerative braking?
An ad should speak to a car’s ideal demographic and not try to be something it isn’t. Perhaps much slower edits, shots of the car parked at a farmer’s market, and a soundtrack by Rusted Root would have been a better bet for an ad on Toyota’s best-selling hybrid.