Monday, June 7, 2010

Swagger Wagon

Toyota is big pimpin’, I mean selling their Sienna minivan in a completely different way these days. Their latest campaign plays on the rap video genre and puts an average looking family at the wheel of the minivan.

It’s an interesting way to market a minivan. No doubt, it’s a hilarious, well-produced sales pitch. However, I’m not certain that it will convince anyone that minivans are ballin’, but it brings some much-needed lighthearted street cred to the Toyota brand in a time of serious crisis (recalls and safety concerns ring a bell?). Minivans are not something people normally get excited about, but drawing attention to it in a slightly self deprecating way may sway people on the edge of buying a minivan into buying one, and it might attract the next generation of minivan owners, people now in their late 20s to early 30s, to the Toyota brand.

On the flip-side, Toyota brand loyalists may be turned off by this as Toyota has typically gone with a more conservative approach to advertising. It could be argued that an older generation of Toyota owners may feel abandoned by the company with this type of advertising by having such highly youth-oriented ad campaigns. I mean, these ads don’t exactly portray safe and conservative.

The Swagger Wagon campaign is pretty much a reverse psychology admission of uncoolness, but these days that kind of thing can work with the younger generation — a generation that is highly ad-aware, and feels over-served when it comes to advertising. Somehow in admitting that minivans are super uncool and having a white family faux-gangsta rap about it, the van will become cool in its uncoolness. Does that make sense? Toyota is banking on it I’m sure.

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