Saturday, October 30, 2010

New Toyota Highlander commercial boy- Nathaniel James

Thank you to everyone who has posted about the new ads for Toyota Highlander... at first, I thought they were cute. Or maybe I just thought the kid was cute. But now, he's really starting to bother me. Those poor parents out there. Also, what kid uses "je ne se quoi" as part of their vocabulary? (The copywriter is pushing it.) Found them all on YouTube.com/ToyotaUSA. The kid's even got his own talk show.

Tag: "Just because you're a parent, doesn't mean you have to be lame."



 
Finally, here's a screenshot of Toyota.com/Highlander:

93 comments:

Marka Danielle said...

I'm disgusted with a child calling parents "Lame" for not having some fancy new car! This only promotes more and more a materialistic and superficial culture! It's not wonder our society is in the trouble it's in. Keeping up with the Jones'is really not so important!

savannahgirl said...

I have to agree with Marka Danielle this commercial teaches kids to disrespect adults.And promotes kids to make fun of children who families don't have as fancy car as them.I can picture kids repeating this to their parents.

cdenil said...

I am very disappointed that a classy company like Toyota is promoting a snobby kid calling his parents lame. What a terrible example to present other young viewers! Way out of class down to crass!

Beverly said...

I agree 100% with the three comments above. I was disgusted enough to look for this site to voice my opinion. Think I'll do the same on my facebook account. Shame on Toyota.

rick said...

IT IS UP TO THE PARENTS AND ONLY THE PARENT NOTHING BUT THE PARENT TO TEACH THEIR KIDS MANNERS!
IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT THE PARENT WANT SOMEBODY ELSE TO TEACH THE KIDS.

THE PARENT CAN TELL THEIR CHILDREN WHEN WATCHING THE COMMERCIAL THAT THIS IS RUDE ETC. etc

Cj6 said...

I also was so irratated by this advertisement that I went to the trouble of looking up this site. What is the matter with the Toyota company ad exec.? Do they really believe that the opinion of some spoiled rotten materialistic brat is going to sell their cars? Just so you know Toyota it completely backfired with this consumer. When my husband and I went looking for a new car/suv last week IO told him I would be interested in looking at anything but a Toyota! You are right Rick parents are responsible for their children's manners. My childrens manners are so important to me that I explained to them this way- we don't let rude, loud, mouthed brats sell us anything. We turn the channel.

Ashley said...

Another one who actually took time to look up a site. Above the rude bratty kid, I think it is terrible during these times of severe bullying to put an ad out there that uses words that reflect bullying ideas! And it has nothing to do with teaching your own kids right and wrong, I am personally insulted by this ad. I am actually surprised it is still aired, I figured someone would have complained to the right people and had it pulled by now.

Peeriya said...

I totally agreed with all the above comments. Why are we promoting materialistic society during tough economy? Some parents are working hard to put food on their tables for their children letting alone providing other things. Why are we teaching our kids to be ashamed their parents because they don't have fancy cars. Totally disgusted! Who came up with the script and who approved it?! known better!

Lizasan said...

You all have me convinced. I wince now when I see these ads. Parents can change the channel, but kids are so easily molded by things other kids say. Flip the channel parents.

free2Bmee said...

This ad infuriates me. Using a child in such a disrespectful way. I went to www.toyota.com and left my comment/ complaint, similar to what you all have said. It just takes a few minutes to do that. If they get back to me, as they say they will, I'll be surprised.

Jerome Graber said...

I, too, found this site because I was looking for somewhere to express my disgust. Both the ads I've seen are extremely disrespectful to the parents, and the ad where the blond boy basically says "sucks to be you" to the other boy "trapped" in the uncool car where he has to be subjected to his parents is horrible. How is this responsible or tasteful advertising? It has definitely influenced my view of Toyota.

LK said...

I googled Toyota Highlander Commercial so that I could watch it again as I wrote my letter of complaint to the company.

I find this ad extremely offensive as a parent, that my child needs a new car to be cooler or that I need one so that he has the 'not lame' parent.

It is disgusting what they are teaching our youth with these statements and am letting the company know via snail mail. I hope others join me. ]

This is the address I found, if you find a better one, please post it!
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
19001 South Western Ave.
Dept. WC11
Torrance, CA 90501

Leslie

charlie said...

I have been a lifelong Toyota user and I still know they have a super product. My first car was a Corrola in 1973. I put three years and 96,000 miles on it before trading it in on a used Toyota pickup with 58,000 miles on it.I put another 72,000 miles on it in the next six years. I sold it outright for $200.00 less than I paid for it! I made my first mistake on buying another brand in 1982.I traded it in on another Toyota in 1983. It had 38,000 miles on it and I owned it until 1998 when I gave it to my son. My wife had just purchased a new Toyota Camry, so we both used it. We decided to sell it this year and buy another one. We really like the Camry. However, my nine year old granddaughter saw the commercial and asked if we could buy one like it. My wife and I sat together until we saw the commercial. We have since sold our Camry and bought a new Honda Accord. It was less expensive and the options were better. Sorry Toyota. You can thank your ad exec's this time. I believe it was 1968 when the Beatles committed financial suicide. Please don't make the same mistake.

kenneth said...

Are you kidding me???? It's a commerical for goodness sakes. I think the commerical is great and yes the parents are lame and it shows you how we can embarrass our kids. I think the point of the commerical is what Toyota has to offer in a vehicle not about the child beign disrespectful. I think he is the cutest thing ever. You all need to get over yourselves. You probably are those LAME parents.

lisatalks said...

If you're as disgusted as I am by these commercials - make it viral - check out this facebook page and spread the word!

lisatalks said...

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/Toyotas-Highlander-Commercial-Sucks/160823843948309

and then of course I forgot to put the tag.... sorry!~

Derek Link said...

These commercials from Toyota are disgusting, insulting, crass, and amoral. Toyota should recall them immediately, fire their ad agency, and apologize for their poor judgement while firing whichever executive approved them. Toyota sucks.

ericabree2010 said...

I think you all are taking this commercial too seriously. It's just a commercial. You have a problem with a kid in a commercial calling his parents lame but I bet you aren't searching out a website to complain about the bra, body wash, and perfume related commercials that are showing nearly naked people to your kids. If your kids are sooo affected by this, then stop leaving the television as their babysitter.

dokkema said...

glad I bought a Honda... this is why are kidds are the laziest most disrespectful generation in history
thanks Toyota....

Kimberly said...

I am a 31 year old single, career woman. I don't have children yet. But this commercial offended me so much that I too, took the time to look up someone to write.
I have always driven nissans, toyotas, and hondas because of the quality of their vehicles. But now there really is something that separates them. I will not give my business to a company that makes these types of commercials. It's not that this commercial TEACHES kids to be snotty and mouth off....it just confirms what they have already seen in their little Tween shows like Hannah Montana, icarly, and the list goes on and on.
It just makes me sad that we have become a society where there is no right or wrong. And if you believe in an absolute right and wrong you are looked down on for having any type of morals, values, or ethics. Or better yet, you are considered intolerant... Kenneth...what happens when that kid is a parent and he wasn't taught by his mom or dad that that is not the way to talk to people or treat them. Maybe because his parents didn't think commercials like that were a big deal....how is he supposed to teach HIS children what is right and wrong when that would be considered "lame". It's just a commercial, you are right about that....but it is always just something....that is a slippery slope.

geek said...

As a teacher, I have seen 11-12 year old boys cry because other boys made fun of their sneakers (not an expensive name brand). That still brings tears to my eyes. These commercials remind me of those times in the classroom. Bratty, materialistic kids.

M.M.Gravendyk said...

I'm really grateful that there is a forum to discuss the general displeasure over this ad. I am really surprised that nobody brought up the fact that these ads are ABLEIST. It is VERY offensive to use "lame" as a derogatory connotation. Toyota needs to pull these ads and issue a formal apology. Also - anyone else try and email them? They don't publish an email address !

jewels7 said...

The commercial is "Lame". I agree with the other postings. We live in a society that is very materialistic. It don't make the boy "cute" his behavior is ugly. I hope the Toyota Highlander don't sell and that Toyota will get a new advertising department.

carole said...

As the parent of 3 children I find the message of this commercial incredibly offensive. Our family was actually looking at buying a new car and considered the hybrid version of the Highlander. That's off my list and I will not consider any Toyota purchases. You can say I am over reacting to "just" a commercial - but, that's my choice, just like it was Toyota's poor choice to product and run this commercial. Shame on you Toyota - you would think there would be more common sense in messaging after all the negative press on all the recent quality problems.

Jimmy167 said...

Toyota's commercial violates good taste. I don't want to be associated with a company that insults people who can't afford a new car.

My wife and I are in the process of deciding what new car we want to buy. One of the cars we have been considering is the Toyota RAV4.

We will no longer be considering Toyota vehicles.

Mary said...

I get angry every time I see this commercial. The disrespect that this child exhibits toward parents only promotes children manipulating their parents into getting them what they want.
The message that is being conveyed is NOT selling the car. I am certainly not interested.

Mary said...

I get angry every time I see this commercial. I think children might even be upset that THEY are portrayed in such a "lame" manner. This ad does not promote a car; it promotes children behaving as snobs and encouraging them to manipulate their parents. Toyota, who convinced you that this ad would be acceptable? What parent would go out and buy a Toyota after being protrayed with such disrespect?

Mary said...

Evidently Toyota's tactics are to appeal to the lowest common denominator--fear of being judged for superficial reasons, crass commercialism, ego inflation through material means. If this reflects Toyota's corporate thinking, the most charitable spin I can put on this is that the intention was to promote an ad that would be purposely controversial in an effort to create a buzz. Whatever the case, I also sought out a means to register my disgust.

Soldier's Princess said...

I reciently saw the commercial with the kid hiding from his dad in the bushes because he has an older car. I was very upset about it. I wrote a note of complaint to Toyota.

richard said...

still can not beileive a company like Toyota can produce a commercial highlander and some kid ashamed of his dads car at school. Maybe we should make fun of children who wear cloths from Walmart? Or that get food stamps, Parents that are homosexuals, How about making fun of people in a wheel chair to? I really think you should have been smarter than tis. I will post this on web sites through out my company to help you make fun of folks that cant afford a new vehicle. Hey why dont you make fun of japanese slant eyes and funny lookin faces in Japan. I will foward this to your office in Japan by mail. You are sorry people working for a sorry company and deserve the recalls and your loss of dependable and well built vehicles.

skyesmith88 said...

i am a single Parent and i have a three year old daughter. and i also have a black faded 1992 mazda protege... isnt the prettiest car but it had good mileage on it for a good price so i took it. i'm only 23 and i know i had a kid young but i have my diploma. i am going to school full time and i also have a full time job i also have my own place on top of it having food stamps. but i am able to provide for my kid and it really grindes my gears hearing that toyota thinks your lame and makes every other kid think they are lame if you as a parent dont have all the money For a nicer car. who knows if i'll have the same car once my little girl goes to school. have i worried if i do have the car still whether if she'll be made fun of when she goes to school? ofcourse i have. i know how cruel kids can be to the low income children. my mother was a single parent with three kids so i got most of the hand-me-downs. i think if toyota thinks i'm lame for being poor they should give me a highlander.

Lisa Miller said...

I'm not a parent but I remember growing up and the struggles of our lower income family. My mom was a single parent after my dad died and she worked in a factory to make ends meet for me and my brother. We always had what we needed.

That punk rich kid reminds me of snob kids I knew growing up. Why would Toyota want me to remember that - especially when I could finally purchase one - thanks mom for helping me get to college. I wonder who Toyota hired for this bad taste PR campaign.

Lori said...

I too had to look up this site to express my disgust! I am an elementary school teacher and this child would be considered a bully! How in the world does Toyota think this ad will sell cars? What group would respond to this ad favorably? Good for the parents who are using this commercial to teach their children how NOT to act.

Patty said...

I totally agree with the comments regarding this kid (who is only doing his "job") making remarks about the other child's parents being "lame". I drive a 14 year old Toyota Corolla, and have always loved it, but in this day and age when money is so tight, and food, housing and medical insurance are so sky high, to put an ad like this on TV is so immorally unbalanced that I turn the channel immediately when it comes on. I have a favorite saying: "when I leave this world, it won't matter where I lived, how much money I made, or what kind of a car I drove- what will matter is that I made a difference in the life of just one child". Shame on you

thao said...

My mom used to pick me up from grade school on a bike. We didn't have any money and my mom took breaks from 2 jobs just to take me home because she didn't want me walking in that neighborhood. I honestly never gave a thought to parents' car. "Lame" parents is just about the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. I hate this commercial and I don't find the kid cute at all. He reflects heavily to me the materialistic kids I see teasing other kids.

I love you, mom!

Diane said...

I believe this commercial it is what is wrong with Americans. This is all kinds of wrong. I agree with so many of your posts.

Lisa Howard said...

Quoting Kenneth..."Are you kidding me???? It's a commerical for goodness sakes. I think the commerical is great and yes the parents are lame and it shows you how we can embarrass our kids. I think the point of the commerical is what Toyota has to offer in a vehicle not about the child beign disrespectful. I think he is the cutest thing ever. You all need to get over yourselves. You probably are those LAME parents."

Out of all the comments posted, this is the only reasonable one! For goodness' sake! If you think this is the most offensive thing on TV and is what is resulting in the downfall of our youth, how do you sensor TV, print, billboards or any other form of public communication. This is nothing when compared to the trash we see daily in every possible manner in which it can be presented. If it is offensive, it is an opportunity for discussion with your children. A teaching moment. Plain and simple. Kenneth says "you probably are those LAME parents"...I say, don't be lame, get a sense of humor.

Lizasan said...

Thank you for your perspective Lisa!

Patty said...

Lisa- did you seriously just write that? I certainly never taught my children to look down on the less fortunte. My Son is the Vice President of Global Custodies at a Boston Bank. He is 44 years old- he drives a 7 year old Jeep. Who are we supposed to be impressing with a new, expensive vehicle? You? Yes- it's ONLY a commercial- a LAME commercial. YOU need a reality check.

Graham said...

Why is no one addressing the use of lame with regard to its connotations of physical disability? Not that I'm for being politically correct in private life, but surely Toyota's marketing team knows that it's no longer publicly acceptable to use the word lame when you mean "uncool." The kid might as well have called his parents "gay" for driving that old shitbox.

Graham said...

Funny, because it's also no longer publicly acceptable to refer to people with physical disabilities as lame. Hmm.

Regina said...

It's incredible that a company would believe that the use of a child with an enormous attitude of entitlement would sell their product. Clearly from the comments here, most consumers find it appalling rather than appealing!

jdsalingerfan said...

Like many who commented above, I was aghast at this commercial. I believe it is emblematic of how the ethical consciousness of children--all of the most industrialized nations, especially in America--is eroding. How would this have gone over 40 years ago? Wait, am I lame for hearkening to the past (I am not "old" either; unless 36 qualifies). Think of it, there are people in the world boiling shoe leather to eat because they have nothing, and I have seen such things while in the Army. They suffer from absolute poverty. The spoiled young punks here suffer from, at the worst, relative poverty; that is, they cry and moan if they cannot keep up with the Joneses. Kids cussing their parents out because they do not get the latests cell phone, etc. Absurd!

Morover, coming from Toyota, a company that hails from a culture in which adults and elders are revered, how would this go over in Japan? No,I bet they thought (rightfully so) "use bratiness and snobbery, and elitism in a commercial targeting America; they will think a precocious disrepesctful child is cute rather than abhorrent." The commercial would not have been made if it was not forecast to coalesce with the prevailing American ethos. Pitiful!

jen1980 said...

I M disgusted everytime that I see this ad. I am the mother of three pre-teen boys and we drive a 1996 Plymouth! I teach my kids to appreciate everything that we have but I cant help but think that an ad like this resinates with young kids who are very impressionable. Is this really what we want our children to think is important?But of course Toyota doesnt care what I think because I cant afford a new Highlander so I am not their TARGET consumer. I hope the company goes as broke as I am!

enemyofdebt said...

This commercial inspired me to write an article about it. I think it is disgusting and I can't believe that a company would stoop to such low levels to sell a product.

http://www.enemyofdebt.com/2010/11/being-financially-responsible-means-youre-a-lame-dorky-geek/

Top me this is like when Barbie released "cool shopping Barbie" complete with her own Visa credit card.

Leticia said...

I am very pleased see that I am not the only parent who was appalled by the Toyota commercials. In my opinion, it promotes snobbery and bullying. Apparently Toyota believes if you are not driving their expensive vehicles, you are "lame." And wants to shame parents into buying a new car so that their children will not be labeled as some kind of misfit in school.

I am teaching my children that there are a lot more important things in life than material possessions, and that includes cars.

The kid in the commercial is not cute and his comments were blatantly disrespectful to all parents.

Yes, it may be just a commercial but I lack to see the humor behind insulting hardworking parents who simply cannot afford a new vehicle.

Toyota has lost a customer.

Betty L. Johnson said...

I guess I'll add my two-cents worth, although it's all been said quite well. I found this forum, as I do was very disgusted with the commercial. First of all, in this horrible economy, many parents are lucky to even HAVE a car, or be able to afford gas to put in it.
NOW we see that we are thought of as 'lame' and an embarassment to our children if we can't afford to drive a new Highlander?
I don't blame the cute chile actor, of course- he's only speaking his 'lines'- I blame Toyota, for having such a snobby attitude.
It's NOT a good commercial.

Scott said...

Being ticked off, I sent Toyota an email expressing my disgust over their commercial. Their response, for what it's worth:

Thank you for contacting Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

We sincerely apologize if our 2011 Highlander commercial offended you in any way. It was certainly not our intention to do so.

Your feedback is appreciated as it is through communications such as yours that we become aware of our customers expectations and reactions. It also provides us with valuable insight when developing future advertising strategies.

If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact us www.toyota.com/help/contactus.html.

Sincerely,

Toyota Customer Experience

kmspai said...

I got the same message from Toyota

Lizasan said...

Thank you for your post Scott

Kerry said...

Picture a family all sitting together watching TV (yes, TV...not always a babysitter). All of a sudden this seemingly cute kid pops up on the screen, but instead of being cute, he turns into a total snob-a-thon that thinks his parents suck if he doesn't have a better car.
Next thing you know, the kiddies start wondering why they don't have a fancy car like that kid on TV. Even if the parents sit them down right then and there and explain what's really important, those kids will still wonder what it'd be like to have a nicer car, nicer jeans, nicer shoes.
It's too bad.
I know this commercial was about buzz- who would actually think this would be received well? But I'm surprised they wanted to create such negative press. In this case not all press is good press. Who the hell wants a highlander now? Not to mention, it barely talks about the features. All I get from the spot is that the seats fold forward. Everything else is obnoxious.
And PS- my dad picked me up in an old beat up cadillac. The seats were plushy and full of grass stains from soccer practice. Those are some of my fondest memories.
Suck it Toyota! I think all you've done is drive people straight to Honda.

scottie13 said...

Someone’s post said it is up to parents to teach children and I would agree with that except that parents are not the only influence on a child’s way of thinking. The thing about this commercial that disturbs me is that the child seems to have an attitude of being “entitled”. Do we, as a society, really want to encourage children to judge themselves, their parents, and others based on what they drive or wear? This child calls his parents lame because they don’t drive a big flashy new vehicle. Young viewers may not take into consideration that parents choose what they drive, not the kids. Parents know what they can afford and some even choose to fund college rather than expensive toys. Some parents are fiscally prudent and choose not to get over their head in debt. Lame? No! Children need to respect their parents and their parents decisions. In my opinion advertisement needs to be socially conscious. Surely this vehicle is worth buying on it’s own merits and not just because it looks nice. I just have to ask Toyota, “What were you thinking when you approved this ad?”

Sally said...

I am disgusted with Toyota's commercial for the Highlander. If Toyota feels even a negative commercial with the "lame" comments about parents will generate publicity, it backfired. Not an impressive way to win back buyers. Buy a Ford their commercials are about the integrity of the product!!!!

Kent said...

I loathe these ads. I hate everything they stand for.

Cynthia said...

Thank you all! I am so relieved it's not just me. What a REPUGNANT ad campaign. I thought the first one was cute...but they quickly went WAY downhill from there. I will never buy another Toyota.

Spiritheart said...

Well Rick, it's OBVIOUS you don't have children. If you think that children *always* listen to what their parents teach them over the inferences and examples of society, especially television, then you have MUCH to learn.


rick said...
IT IS UP TO THE PARENTS AND ONLY THE PARENT NOTHING BUT THE PARENT TO TEACH THEIR KIDS MANNERS!
IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT THE PARENT WANT SOMEBODY ELSE TO TEACH THE KIDS.

THE PARENT CAN TELL THEIR CHILDREN WHEN WATCHING THE COMMERCIAL THAT THIS IS RUDE ETC. etc

October 31, 2010 10:19 PM

Claudia said...

You can create an account (minimal info) and contact Toyota via email by clicking HERE:http://toyota.custhelp.com/app/utils/login_form/redirect/ask_intercept

The commercial is shameful. "Vote" with your car-buying dollars as well as by contacting them!

Ana said...

I had trouble comprehending the kind of people who would allow this ad series to air. After angrily viewing this ad- a run down car, one deeply ashamed little boy, a sparkly Highlander, and a spoiled little brat who for some reason should care what mom and dad drive-
I continued to have flashbacks to my own situation as a child - the scene is very real, and brings very real, very devastating shame. This elitist attitude exists, but doesn't support the values I always thought we had as a society.

We are supposed to protect and support our children, not turn them into classist, elitist brats, right?

The fact that the Toyota execs thought this was a message worthy of creating into a SERIES of offensive ads, coupled with their recent safety issues, causes me to pause and deeply question my loyalty as a 10-year Toyota customer.

Arlen said...

I am not a mother, but my husband and I believe that this ad is very disrespectful. This doesn't show kids to apreciate all the effort parents do for things that are really important and not superficial like a fancy car. Also it doesn't fit the real economic situation that the US is facing. Shame on Toyota! Hopefully they remove this ad.

Division said...

I can't believe the commercial shows parents in such a negative light. Then Toyota makes it so hard to give them feed back. Sign up to send them an email? Yea right. Spend your money on a US made product that will show them their ad campaignx has failed...

3rosebuds said...

I mute the commercial or switch the channel every time the commercial comes on. I too am disgusted with the attitude that children have any right to comment on what vehicle their parents drive. They should be grateful their parents have a car to transport them to school and games, etc. I too say Shame on You, Toyota!!

Jeff said...

I think everyone is overreacting, it is a silly commercial. How the parents are acting in the ads are ridiculous. An example of this are his parents who have a picture painted of all of them looking like reindeer. And the parents singing in the opposite car are behaving idiotically. Parents don't really behave like this or do these things and children don't talk with that kind of sophistication.
I think our focus is skewed, the nightly news is full of ultra-violence and terrible stories that children shouldn't watch and how about all these "Marry me" reality shows that promote children to pick the one your going to love by how one looks and what gifts they give you, or how rich or famous you are is more important than a real connection.
All in all there are much worse things on TV to worry about than a silly, fun commercial.
Like a few have said here, you can turn the channel and stop having the TV babysit your children. Take responsibility for a change and stop blaming things are total within your control.

Lizasan said...

Thanks for your feedback Jeff.

April said...

Growing up, my dad's truck smelled of grease and cigarette smoke and had plywood in the floorboards. You could literally see the road under your feet through some holes. I'd rather be seen getting out of that truck than getting out of a highlander after watching this commercial. In fact, those were GREAT memories-some of my most nostalgic memories come from thinking of that truck! I wouldn't trade that childhood for the world, and I hope kids who see this commercial realize their parents are doing the best they can and that they can make good memories in a beat up car just as easily as they can make bad memories in a highlander.

April said...

Also, several people mentioned how there are much worse things on TV. I think it's important to mention, just because people are taking a stand on this commercial doesn't mean they aren't taking a stand against other things they see on TV. The issue with this though, is we can easily not allow our children to watch certain shows. If we don't want our kids watching reality shows or violence, we can make sure that's not on. But commercials come in the middle of shows that we ARE okay with them watching. And regardless whether this is "just a commercial" or not, the thing is, you wouldn't have a commercial where a bully is promoting the product you are trying to sell. Bullying is such a huge problem in schools (I'm a teacher and I've had 5th graders calling other kids names I didn't even know in 5th grade). The thing is, we are older and of a different generation. I'm only 25 and it's still SO different than when I was in school. And I'm not in a big inner city school either. Average sized town. The reason everyone is up in arms about this, is that it's sadly showing the state of our nation and it's getting away from a simpler time when people didn't care so much about having all the latest and greatest and they cared more about baseball, picnics, friends and family. It's getting away from the things we love so much and it's turning into a dark place. Change is good, change is okay, but let's change for the better and not keep mocking people who can't afford to be as cool as you.

Chris said...

It's interesting--I actually found this site by Googling the tag-line because I sought to use it as an effective example of marketing to young adults who seek to care responsibly for their families while still attempting to hold on to their youthful "coolness". Perhaps I'm looking too deeply at the message and not paying enough attention to the "disrespectful bratty kid" on the surface. Bad me.

Cheris said...

The commercials are very disrespectful, poor timing with the economy! You have a dad in an older station wagon picking up his son and THAT is criticized????? A GOOD parent does not equal a parent with a new car. Lame! This commercial is lame. How disrespectful! This would be considered bullying under many public school standards!Try a different approach. Your commercials are unwanted, unwarranted, and are in poor taste!

Grace in TN said...

I agree with the posters that find these commercials offensive. I do have a daughter and we actually don't have cable in our home - one of the main reasons being that I do not want her unnecessarily influenced by marketing at the age of three! I saw the commercial with the kids at school while watching a show online today and could not believe it. I don't want to repeat what everyone else has stated, but will emphasize what irresponsible economic choices this kind of attitude encourages. Well, at least those of us with "clunkers" can rest a little easier knowing that we are slowly building our children's college funds rather than going into foreclosure over a car payment we couldn't (shouldn't???) afford. Now why is the foreclosure rate in this country so high again? Oh that's right - because purchasing power is in the hands of children.

ldraskovic said...

I agree wholeheartedly with all of the above comments. Perhaps it should be said in the vernacular of the ad... This kid is a total douche and this campaign will keep me from buying a Toyota.

me said...

yes, yes, yes. This ad is just pathetic... Toyota is exploiting a very vulnerable stage at which children are trying to figure out their identity and place in the world. Come on!!!!! I know these companies don't care about their customers, but... when things are SO hard economically out here, GIVE US A BREAK! You're as bad as the mortgage companies and banks...

mstiggsy said...

I cringe every time one of these adverts come on. I have a great sense of humor, but society is materialistic enough already and I don't need to see this notion being validated with a child putting down other children and their parents for not being "hip" enough. I too come from a low-income background and now have the means to purchase a new car. It will not be a Toyota.

Margaret said...

Here is what bothers me so much. It's that the boy says it's lame not to drive a new car. It's that the commercials suggest that children whose parents cannot afford a new car should be ashamed of their cars, and their parents. It's promoting the very things that we as a society (I hope) are trying to teach our children NOT to be (the aforementioned materialistic, narcissitic, bullying brat). I could not afford a new car when my children were growing up. Luckily for me, I taught them the important things in life don't have a pricetag. Back then, kids were killing each other for their sneakers. The hardest part of this commerical for me to take is that it seems to say that anyone who does not have money is lame; and that includes your classmates. I hope parent's are talking to their children about these commercials, and why they are WRONG.

Dr. Bill said...

In this day and age with so many people out of wrok, for toyota to air a commercial with a spoiled brat telling us we are lame is disgusting! Lately the Ad agencies are morons with many commercials like this one, they think Americans are rich Fat cats and we should run out an buy buy buy crap we can't afford or put on credit to only not pay and ruin the economy more.

Toyota is loosing it for sure on this.

DLHALL said...

Take these commercials off the air!! I cringe every time one of them comes on. I am in shock that Toyota promotes this shallow behavior, attempting to play it off as humorous.

Lizasan said...

DLHall - I agree, take them off, they've been on way too long and I too, still cringe every time.

Chas said...

WAY too much time on your hands when you can't see the humor (irony) and satire in this commercial. It's funny, folks! Let the cute kids make their college funds. LOL

stra8tballin said...

I think these commercials are hilarious. So much that I just saw one on tv and googled, "toyota highlander kid" and this site came up.

Then again I'm 29/M and my guess are these ads are directed towards my age group.

+1 Toyota for this ad

People who post the spoiled kid comments sound like a bunch of broke biatches. Get off the computer and level up for christ sake!

Albis said...

Be careful with the context of your commercial...a kid closing the window to another kid that is asking fot help. Ignoring others needs is absolutely not a good principle. Be careful!!! you are setting examples for children...

AprilChristina said...

stra8tballin...I understand you thinking this way because I hate when people get uptight about petty things that are supposed to be funny. But, in this case, I don't agree with you. I'm 25. Not some old wrinkled lady who's mad at the world. And yes, I am "broke" as you say because I am a special education teacher and our pay has been frozen for who knows how long. I choose to do something I love because I love doing it, not for the money. And I'm putting my husband through college so he can become an Engineer and make enough money that we could buy a Highlander if we wanted to, but we won't. The thing is, whether you think it's funny or not, it is in bad taste seeing as how our economy is suffering so much. And, again, even if you think it's funny, you have to be able to see that Toyota is basically insulting (even if it's in a humorous way) a huge portion of the US--everyone who can't afford this vehicle. So why would I buy a car that I could afford (be it a lower end car or a used car from a Toyota dealer) from a company that makes fun of me and calls me lame for not being able to afford their higher end vehicles? It just doesn't make good marketing sense.

michael said...

I thought less of the lessons it's teaching the next generation of children, and more along the lines of "Wow. That kid is such a little d-bag. I just want to punch him in his little asshole face."

Christopher said...

can someone please make a youtube spoof of this horrible kid getting his ass beat?

Monica Devine said...

Due to that commercial, I will never buy another Toyota. They've stooped to a record low, and lost my business forever. Good riddance, Toyota.
I'm moving over to Honda.

wvsinger said...

Like so many others I am disgusted with this ad. I drove a '95 Previa for 15 years. Loved it and cried when it died. Why? because it carried our family to so many fabulous places throughout the country. Literally from sea to sea and over every mountain. It took us skiing, and toted opera sets. We were able to make these trips as well as trips to Europe because we didn't have a $400 car payment on the newest gas guzzler.
The ad denigrates hard working parents who just can't afford a fancy new car or those who believe that providing other, much more valuable experiences for their children is more important than the newest toy or auto.
I hope the child who made the ad grows up to understand just how he has been used. Shame on you Toyota!! You have lost our business.

Melissa Jenna Godsey said...

THe level or anger directed at this kid really makes me uncomfortable. Let's not forget that the kid is an ACTOR who was given a script. If you people are going to lash out at anyone, it should be the writers, not the actor kid. If I were him I'd probably be so excited to have scored such a big-time gig! Good for him! And anyone who wants to see a spoof of a kid "getting his ass beat" should get their head examined. He's just a kid doing his job-- leave the boy out of it.

Liza said...

I agree with you Melissa, people should lay off the actor.

Jared said...

This kid is a child form of every douche bag that has ever crossed my path. If i met that kid in real life (Not the actor, but the character) I would break his jaw. Do they really think that having an eight-year-old asshole say their car is better is going to sell cars? Stick with celebrities and bikini models.

kristine said...

If it was my kid, I would knock his ass into next Wednesday before buying a Gayota. I drive a better brand. That kids life is OVER!!

kristine said...

Toyota sucks. I will NEVER buy one because of the BRAT ADVERTISING!!!

kristine said...

Toyota is DISGUSTING....I HAVE the money, not the BRAT... BRAT ADVERTISING DOES NOT WORK

kristine said...

Is Zoe Zeigler your ad girl??? 'cause she got it all wrong.

Ethan said...

Another poster with the same reaction. This ad is terrible across a number of dimensions. I have been surprised that the ad has continued to run as long as it has as it seems so clearly distasteful and offensive -- I finally googled the ad to see if I was the only one who had this reaction. I'm glad to see that's not the case.

The points about this commercial being OK as it is a teaching moment for ones kids are off base. Yes, it does provide a teaching moment, but by that same argument, if an ad said the word "fck", that would be OK as well because it would also be teaching moment for ones kids ('see kids, don't say "fck" like they do on tv!').

LOVESANDKISSES said...

After watching the 60th commercial with this disgusting brat, i had to find a place to rant. I thought it was cute at first, but when saw the one with the boy in the other car begging for help, and him rolling up the window, adding "that was painful to watch", i went ballistic. what are they saying!?!?!? is it bad to have a parent with a low income? if i see another one of those stupid commercials, i swear...

Semen Rendi said...
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