The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Simple Advertising Is Great Advertising …

I’m 46.

I’m a husband.

And a father.

I supposedly hold down a senior job at a highly respected company.

I have responsibilities … mortgages and a bunch of other things ‘older people’ should have.

And yet despite all that, when I saw this ad for Hot Wheels, I totally got what they were saying.

Oh Hot Wheels.

When I was a kid, they were the toy cars to have.

Matchbox made the practical but Hot Wheels made the sexy.

The daring.

The souped up.

The ‘fuck, that looks cool’.

Kids who were good at maths would play with Matchbox but kids who could play the guitar would have Hot Wheels.

I must admit, I am shocked at all this emotion coming out of me despite the fact I haven’t bought – or played with – a toy car for at least 36 years. And that’s why I love this ad so much, because in an instant – and without showing any product whatsoever – I get it.

I totally get it.

Given this ad appeared on a motorway, I am assuming Hot Wheels actually want to target people like me.

Their goal being to awaken my memories of their brilliant toy cars and introduce my kids to them.

It could be because a while back I read Hot Wheels was a billion dollar company under threat.

Not from other toy car competitors, but because parents didn’t know how to play toy cars with their children. Especially Mum’s with boys.

[Don’t call me sexist, this is what they said]

Whatever the truth is, this ad worked for me.

It not only reminded me how much I loved Hot Wheels, it made me want to play with them with Otis. Which all goes to show that while the features of a brand can be copied, it’s spirit and values are always unique.



Why Toyota Camry Is More Delusional Than Sepp Blatter …
February 25, 2016, 6:15 am
Filed under: Cars, Crap Campaigns In History, Insight, Planning, Unplanned

Late last year I wrote a post about the horrendous advertising Toyota are doing for their Camry in the US.

I talked about how it was attempting to be deep and meaningful, only to be undermined by a crap execution, especially when it’s for a model of car that is renowned for its sensibleness. I don’t mean that in a negative sense … but from the perspective that it’s a solid, reliable automobile and trying to ‘sex it up’ ends up alienating rather than inspiring.

Well, as you can see from the pic above, Toyota don’t give a shit about what I say [and who can blame them] because it appears they’re persevering with this car crash of communication.

What is it with Toyota ads and balloons?

Is it because they are both full of hot air?

And why have the owners seemingly happy to be walking towards a balloon that looks like it’s fallen from the sky?

Probably for the same reason they’ve walked off and – judging by the lit instrument panel – left their keys in their car with the engine running.

Who are these people?

I’ll tell you who they are, they’re bloody idiots.

Bloody idiots with a sexual fetish for hot air ballooning.

And what is it with that headline?

“It’s The Stops That Inspire Us To Go”.

What?

WHAT???

Apart from it being some z-grade Yoda bollocks, the fact is you can see the cars GPS is on so the happy-go-lucky couple featured in the ad aren’t some spontaneous couple, going wherever life takes them, they’re a couple of balloon groupies who planned … PLANNED … their trip.

In fact I’d go one step further.

They’re a couple of balloon groupies who chose to drive to a remote part of nowheresville to pollute the clean air with their bloody car fumes.

I wanted to say this is a perfect example of why focus groups are dangerous, but the thing is, I don’t think even a research model designed to ensure communication is bland and meaningless could have approved this.

But then, if not them, who … because the alternative is even more scary.

What’s going on Toyota?

When you say ‘Let’s Go Places’, do you mean ‘go to the bottom of the advertising barrel’?

Seriously, you’re better than this.

Your agency is better than this.

And humanity certainly is better than this.

Sort it out, because this cannot be working for you.

Toyota Corolla: For balloon fetish, air polluting fools who leave their keys in the car. With the engine running.



When Boring Tries To Be Interesting. And Fails.
December 2, 2015, 6:15 am
Filed under: Cars, Comment, Crap Campaigns In History, Insight, Planning, Unplanned

I like Toyota.

Well, I used to like them.

When they had the Celica, MR2 and of course, the Supra.

It helped hide the fact they also made cars that made beige Volvo’s look exciting.

Like the Toyota Corolla.

Sure, it’s a perfectly good car.

Practical. Drives well. Strong reliability. Fair resale value.

So why the hell do they insist on trying to sex-it up?

I know buying a car is probably the second most expensive purchase you’ll ever make so you need to feel good about what you’re buying, but trying to make an accountancy conference feel like a Motley Crue aftershow party is always going to end up making you look a tool.

And yet so many car brands continue down this path.

Which gets me back to that Toyota Corolla ad.

OK, to be fair, they’re trying to be less rock star and more deep and philosophical, but it’s still bullshit isn’t it.

“Find who you have not yet become”

What? WHAT?

What’s that even mean?

Forget the rubbishness of that 3rd division Yoda statement, what about the fact they don’t see the irony of combining people lighting sky lanterns that float gently in the air with beauty and grace and calmness with a gas guzzling car that pollutes the air everywhere it goes?

And why the hell are they lighting sky lanterns?

And why did the owner of the Corolla park in the middle of the road?

What if all those lanterns land on the house at the top left of the picture and it catches fire?

How is the fire truck going to get there and save the occupants if the road is blocked by some selfish Toyota Corolla owner?

And they have the audacity to end the ad with the line, ‘Let’s Go Places’.

I’ll tell you which place you should go … to the local jail where you will probably meet the marketing team who asked for this contrived, passive piece of rubbish … which achieves the rare feat of alienating both the folks who choose a car as a reflection of their ego and the folks who want a car that offers quality and reliability rather than hype and hyperbole.

You know, the people who would actually find the boring reliability of a Corolla exciting.

Sometimes we try so hard to be different when just telling the truth is the most refreshing approach available to us.