A parody is a comical retelling and transformation of another text, created with the intent of calling to light perceived weaknesses through imitation and mockery. It’s fun to check out some Toyota parodies at this transitional moment in time — a time in which the automotive industry is moving head-on to all electric transportation. For far too long, legacy automakers were entrenched in sticking to The Way We’ve Always Done It. Now the electric vehicle (EV) revolution is predicted to swallow up the global automotive industry — and Toyota has been caught distracted and behind.
ToyotaYawn: Public Citizen Lampoons the Japanese Carmaker
Public Citizen has launched ToyotaYAWN, a 5-figure ad campaign highlighting Toyota Motor Corp.’s lack of commitment to convert its full lineup of cars and trucks to zero emission vehicles.
“ToyotaYAWN is on!” reads an actor in the commercial spot, dressed in the same signature red the actual Toyota actor wears in the company’s US market commercials. (Red is one of the most dominant colors in Japanese culture. It is symbolic of the imperial nation, represented as a filled circle to symbolize the sun on the national flag.)
The actor announces to the camera, “With zero commitment to electrify our full fleet and only one EV on the market, it’s the least exciting time of the year.”
Red vertical banners that flank the stage backdrop are embossed with “ZZZ,” connoting sleepiness.
The ad lampoons the company’s longstanding end-of-the-year sale. “The boring, out-of-touch, and gas-guzzling offerings at Toyota’s end-of-year sales event are enough to put anyone to sleep,” said East Peterson-Trujillo, clean vehicles campaigner with Public Citizen. “Consumers want electric vehicles, but Toyota’s refusal to innovate means we won’t find them at ToyotaYAWN this year.”
The ad campaign, which will run online and on streaming platforms and is live through January 2, targets Toyota owners in Texas, Minnesota, Georgia, Idaho, and Tennessee.
The ToyotaYAWN commercial comes a week after activists from across the country called on Toyota to commit to producing only zero emission cars — the activists signed petitions, placed phone calls to executives and local dealerships, and spoke out on social media. The activists continue to call on the company to transition its full line-up of cars and trucks to zero emissions vehicles.
The Onion: Another in a Line of Fun Toyota Parodies
According to “eyewitness reports” on The Onion, visibly frantic area resident Dwight Freeman, 31, rushed headlong out his front door Sunday in a desperate attempt to get to his local dealer’s limited-time Toyotathon before his brief window of opportunity closed.
“My God, I have to get there right now!” screamed Freeman. He — after hearing a radio ad that claimed “these deals [would not] last long” — reportedly ran across his yard while pulling a shirt over his head as he carried his shoes in one hand and slammed a cup of coffee with the other. “These are the best deals of the season — the whole season.”
At press time, the wife and