Has Toyota lost their way with Prius advertising?

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by The Electric Me, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    In the Gen 2 age...and for a long time, I thought Toyota was particularly good at creative advertising for the Prius. Gen 3? Even if I didn't particularly like the advertising....swaying and singing felt trees...it still was unique advertising that brought PRIUS to your attention.

    The Prius Superbowl commercial I thought was pretty good.

    But lately it seems Toyota has created a stranger to themselves. It's almost like they are unsure of how to promote the Prius.
    When the Gen 4 was first introduced, Toyota tried to promote the Prius like a sports car. Sparkling rain soaked streets and "Sports Car" like shots of the vehicle. The message seemed very much that we were to take it that the Prius was now sexy and beautiful. Not sure that worked.

    Now the latest commercials I've seen are just saltine cracker plain.
    The Toyota All Wheel Drive Commercial with Chloe Kim, just seems unfocused and uninspired. It clearly is trying to communicate the capabilities of the new AWD-e Prius, but weather conditions are never shown as being all that challenging. In other words, the Prius is driving through winter weather I think many regular Prius owners have already conquered or dealt with. It seems to promote AWD-e in a luke warm manner, as in...you can drive on snow covered paved streets....but nothing too extreme beyond that. Does that inspire anyone to really want to make that investment into the AWD-e? If I was unfamiliar with Prius, I'd wonder what the big deal was? The Prius in the commercial isn't doing anything that a regular ICE vehicle equipped with good snow tires could do....without an AWD option. It's seems like a diluted message and missed opportunity.

    And finally....I no longer own a Prius, but my participation in Prius Chat has me reading a lot of threads about the Prius Prime.
    IMO....that's a great product. The gas mileage and experience Prime owners are enjoying I do think represents a significant evolution in Prius.
    But has Toyota gotten that message out? Outside of Prius Chat, and Prius "people"...I don't think Prius Prime has been promoted as what a great evolution of Prius it really is.

    I personally feel the Hybrid age hasn't passed. We are still firmly entrenched on that bridge. But in the past decade or so, Toyota seems to have lost their way on how they want to promote Prius.
    The unblinking generic tone of recent commercials is disappointing.

    Even if a commercial misses it's mark? Entertain me. Make me laugh. Show me something hard to forget even if I want to forget it. Giant Mummenschanz Prius Monster made up of people....I'm talking about you.

    Driving Chloe Kim up to a ski ramp, on what appears to be pretty tame winter roads and stopping to honk at Caribou blocking the road? Doesn't work for me. It doesn't really tell me what or why I should consider a AWD-e Prius.

    And IMO the Prius Prime is a fantastic automotive product....that too many people don't know about.
     
  2. Montgomery

    Montgomery Senior Member

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    I totally agree with you. The Prime is the real deal when it comes to hybrid motoring. I don't know where Toyota is headed, but one could assume they are going to drop the Prius name and or line. The Rav4 Hybrid is killin it at the Dealers. 40+ mpg and all the room one can handle! The hybrid Corolla looks great, but Corollas aren't built for my build. But they seem to be selling as well. So, where is Toyota headed? Is the Prius soon to be a thing of the past?
     
  3. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    The Prius Prime drivetrain is the future leading to EVs. That is the one that needs to go to all Toyota vehicles ... but I'm not holding my breath. Next step, design the next generation vehicles to provide a skateboard structure. Then join the competition that is already in progress.

    Bob Wilson
     
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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    huh, i've never liked prius advertising. just goes to show i guess...
     
  5. Mark57

    Mark57 Senior Member

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    Last night on our "local" 6pm OTA CBS news broadcast (not the national news) , we had a 2019 Toyota Miria commercial. I did a double take and couldn't believe what I'd just seen. I didn't think they sold them outside of California much less in Oklahoma. We have a lot of regular Prius and Primes here and I've only seen one AWD Prius commercial until this commercial for a hydrogen fuel cell car. WTH? No clue what that was all about.
     
  6. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    I could be wrong. Maybe the evolution will be more rapid than I think. But I think Hybrid vehicles are not as "over" as proponents of full EV's like to believe.
    We still have the supply system and refueling infrastructure built, working and in place that supports the ICE vehicle present. Which IMO, makes Hybrids a fantastic vehicular choice. There is no need for singular battery powered range anxiety, you can basically use a Hybrid as you would any standard ICE vehicle. When I owned my Prius, that was huge as apartment living precluded me charging up every night.

    I do think full EV's are the future, and to an extent the future that is already here. Tesla and others are building amazing products that herald that future, today. But for the masses, those vehicles are still beyond the easily graspable scope, in both cost and investment into home charging.
    And the charging infrastructure while rapidly improving, is still a work in progress.

    A lot of people "disappointed" that Toyota doesn't compete directly with Tesla and others with a full EV offering. But I disagree. Toyota doesn't have to. They can still sell majority ICE to the masses, and they can still sell Hybrids, they can let Tesla and others do the dirty work of building EV's and promoting the infrastructure, and if and when competing with them becomes a profitable avenue? There's very little hidden magic to the technology of full EV's, in fact I would argue they are less complicated machines than a typical Prius. In other words, when Toyota wants to sell full EV's to a mass market? They can jump in and be at the top nearly instantly. In the meantime for the rather small audience that can afford and actually do own and operate full EV's? They can let others do the heavy lifting of building, selling, and laying the pioneering groundwork for their future.
    Right now I think there is little benefit to Toyota to compete in this arena. As one of the worlds largest automotive companies, who has already sacrificed and pioneered in so many areas,- they don't need to be in this battle.

    To be honest? I believe a Hybrid right now is a better more convenient product to own and operate. With Toyota's success it's lost it's coolness panache. It's much more the "thing" if you can afford it, to own a Tesla or a full EV vehicle. But if you're really talking about owning a vehicle that allows you to minimize fossil fuel usage, minimize emissions, and go from nearly any Point A to Point B, without any worries? A hybrid is IMO still a superior choice. But you're probably not going to impress the neighbors nearly as much pulling a Prius Prime into your driveway.

    Which is why I think Toyota has to figure out exactly how they want to promote the still IMO fantastic product they have in the Prius and Prius Prime.
    A Prius AWD-e, driving over slightly snowy paved roads, with a big pink flamingo tied to the roof rack.....isn't the way to do it.
     
  7. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Thanks.
    In a much less wordy manner than I normally embrace, I think you summed up exactly what I think is wrong with Prius advertising right now.
    Probably more extreme if you are trying to promote a fuel cell vehicle.

    You don't want people coming away from your commercials thinking "What was that all about?". And right now? That's far too much Toyota advertising.
     
  8. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Ever?
    I think if you go back, Gen 2 especially, Toyota had some very clever, very unique advertising for Prius.
    I never was huge fan of the Gen 3 advertising, "Harmony between Man, Machine and Nature" with the cartoonish, surreal environments, BUT it was unique, and I think represented Prius as a unique special product, while communicating what I think is STILL and ALWAYS the strength of a Hybrid. Fantastic gas mileage and cleaner emissions.
    Toyota use to want that "green cred" and use to promote on that basis. Now it's almost like they want to distance themselves from those fundamental benefits of Prius. It's like burying what is the best things about the product you are selling.

    Personally, I don't care if the Prius is sexy, and I don't care how Chloe Kim get's to her ski ramp, she can hitch a ride with a Dodge Pick-Up for all I care.
    That's not IMO what Hybrid ownership is about.
     
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  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    Perhaps they figured they got all the treehuggers, and now it’s time to try and garner some mainstream customers.
    But judging from the product, design fail
     
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  10. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The other One Percenter.....

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    They merely rolled the tech into Corollas and Hycams.

    Can't really say i like that gaping maw front end very much, but parked next to a G4 it looks positively wonderful.
     
  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    meh, the wagon looks even better, but do we get it? noooooooooooo..........
     
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  12. Data Daedalus

    Data Daedalus Senior Member

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    Incidentally, the Corolla Hybrid Wagon is selling like hotcakes over here in the UK. I see as many of them now, as I see Gen 4 Prii.
    In fact, my neighbour who has spent the last 6 years watching me commute with my Prius every working day finally folded and bought.....

    * Insert drum roll effect here......

    A Toyota Corolla Hybrid Wagon. (Tada....!!!)

    He's absolutely chuffed with it, having already changed cars now three times in all those years I've been flying my old Prius.

    He's particularly smitten by the heavily reduced number of times he needs to refuel. He's truly stunned by the frugality of the vehicle.
    He also loves the smooth quiet ride, and the step less automatic transmission (with its infusion of the dark arts).....or as I jokingly delight in refering to as; "Reverse Engineered Alien Technology" from Area 51's Skunk Works Team.

    He loves how quiet it is, and since he got the vehicle, he's been driving like a saint! He used to drive his previous cars like an extra from "Fast & Furious"


    NUU_M3 ?
     
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  13. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    Straight ICE vehicle efficiency:
    • low power, low efficiency, low drag - at partial power, the ICE suffers from throttle plate restriction that severely impact the power per unit of fuel.
    • high power, high efficiency, high drag - with the throttle plate open, the engine becomes more efficient but the vehicle drag increases significantly. Still, highway mileage is often better than urban mileage.
    An ICE slightly rewards the maniac driver. But a strong hybrid has higher urban mileage and near-equal to ICE highway mileage. The hybrid tricks are:
    • regenerative braking - capturing stop energy instead of wearing down the brake shoes
    • ICE cycling - whenever possible, the ICE is OFF or when on, near the maximum engine efficiency
    The hybrid rewards sane driving.

    Bob Wilson
     
    #13 bwilson4web, Nov 8, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
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  14. noonm

    noonm Active Member

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    Maybe its because I don't have cable, but I pretty much 100% ignore all car commercials. When I was shopping for a new at the beginning of the year, I relied heavily on YouTube review videos ranging from well-done reviews from professionals to the 20-min rambling amateur with an iPhone. I found all of those far more valuable than any car ad.

    From my perspective, Toyota Prius ads aren't good or bad, but irrelevant.
     
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