Toyota's Nerd Marketing Sure Is Awkward

Toyota is the world's biggest auto maker. It must be doing something right. This ad, though, isn't one of them.


In the U.S., Toyota is rolling out a Corolla campaign that features virtual idol Miku Hatsune. With the character's popularity and connection to motorspots, her appearance makes sense somewhat— just not in America.


I know people who like Miku Hatsune. Perhaps you do, too. If not, read this. But my mom and my dad, who are Toyota's target customers, have no fucking clue who or what Miku Hatsune is.

That's okay, this campaign isn't for them. Toyota has regular, "normal" ads for them. Toyota's Miku commercial is incredibly niche, aimed at Americans who are interested in Japanese, which would be fine if the execution wasn't so bad. Everything feels forced and downright silly.


When the ad's announcer—his voice is truly awful—says the Corolla is the official car of Miku Hatsune, it's lost, wasted and meaningless. Toyota America, take a tip from Toyota Australia and use ninja kittens, not white-washed virtual Japanese idols.

In the spot, Miku Hatsune's digital modeling is clumsy and poor (compared with Sega's high-quality character modeling). The same goes for the script, which makes no sense—something about big dreams, dreaming big dreams, building big works of art, making compact works of art, and that there's nothing small about that. Bwah?


This is followed by an ear-piercing Miku screech.

The spot ends with the Sega-produced Miku Hatsune concert from last year. This year's concert was handled by the company previously known as 5pb, and it sucked. Like this commercial.


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Dear Brian Ashcraft i think is better call her "Hatsune Miku" not "Miku Hatsune", not jsut because it sounds weird, but also because her name has a meaning in japanese (Hatsune = First sound, Miku = Future).

Btw i also, as a "Miku fan", didn't like that AD, it's somewhat forced and the screech at the end is terrible (even thou is in one of her songs), in fact i shared with my friends the short version.