Thursday, November 18, 2010

Toyota and "Lame" Parents...

Okay, so most of you have probably seen these commercials by now.  They feature this seriously cute kid who is the latest spokeschildperson for the Toyota Highlander.  But this kid being cute is about the only positive thing I can say about the commercials.  As a matter of fact, I'm pretty much appalled by Toyota's latest attempt to sell a very expensive vehicle ($28,000-$43,000).  I'm not reviewing the Highlander here.  I could honestly care less about it.  It seems like a nice ride, but that's about all I have to say about it.

What really gets me here is the fact that this child is walking around talking about how lame his parents are because they own an old minivan (yes, he actually uses the word "lame").  He talks about how embarrassing it is to be seen with them in that van.

Wow.

What kind of message is Toyota sending to kids in this country?  I know I shouldn't be surprised, considering the materialistic nature of our culture as a whole, but still....a commercial series that basically tells kids they should be embarrassed if their parents don't have a brand new shiny SUV like the Highlander?  Ugh.

Wes gets so mad each time the commercial comes on, and says he "can't stand that kid!"  I gently remind him that this kid is just an actor, and unfortunately it's a bunch of grownups that are spreading the word that having anything less than new is lame.

I think of all the amazing parents out there, who pour out love and grace over their children.  I think of all the parents who sell their newer cars, move into cheaper houses, work extra jobs, just so they can adopt a child, and give them a home and family, and a loving and fulfilling life they may not have had otherwise.  They may drive old vans, and have less cool technology, but they are anything but lame.

I'm sure I could go on and on, but I won't.  I wish I could do a commercial series about the importance of family and eternal things.  I would have the kid talk about how amazing his parents are, and how he'd much rather have a loving family, than an expensive car or gadget.  Do you think it would do well?  ;)

Toyota.  Today, you get a "Fail."




13 comments:

  1. I have yet to see those commercials broadcast in my area, but after just watching them, I can say I feel the EXACT SAME WAY as you. They actually turn my stomach. It drives me ABSOLUTELY CRAZY to hear adults tell me "I wish we could afford to adopt" as they drive away in their brand new vehicle. I hope to teach my kids it is NOT about what we own (because we'll never own anything that nice), it's about who we are and how we show the love of God. And I am NOT lame in my old minivan!

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  2. Steph, you are definitely not lame! :) Old minivans are the new cool! hahaha! We'll be getting ours soon too (apparently twins take up a lot of space! lol). Yeah, these commercials just started up here in Kentucky a couple of weeks ago. Makes my heart sad to see what kids are soaking up off of the tv. I'd much rather be the "geek" family than the "too lost in debt because I got this expensive vehicle I couldn't afford and now I can't take care of anyone else" family. ;)

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  3. Okay that is bad. SO SO bad. I haven't seen these but thats horrible! My car doesn't define me!

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  4. Erica-I know! Seriously, ridiculous.

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  5. Thank you for posting on these commercials. I am with you 100% and think we need to band together to pressure Toyota to recall these ads. I started a web site to do that and have linked to your article. There's also a petition there to sign to add to the public pressure. It's at http://toyotaislame.com Keep fighting for good values!

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  6. yes i hate those commercials on so many levels. i admit that when we were driving the wood grain sides minivan with the broken sliding door, so the kids had to climb out the front or back doors, that had no a/c i could understand the kids being a little embarrassed. but adia, who was a little embarrassed said, "at least we have a van some people don't" good girl. you don't need an amazing expensive car with a dvd system. good old stories in cds actually bring the family togethor. we have so many fun games and great conversations going on in the van that wouldn't happen if we plugged them into tv everytime we got in the car. sure it would be nice to drive something else but i wouldn't give up all the fun times in the van with the kids. i realize when i go to bed at 10 or get excited about a great sale on socks that i am lame. but guess what i am okay with that.

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  7. Nina, I am so glad you posted on this topic. I feel the same way. When I first saw one of these commercials, I was shocked! It really disgusts me that Toyota chose this route for an advertising campaign! I will be visiting the site Derek posted to sign the petition!
    Julie

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  8. Niners, that commercial ticked me off too. I am not weak minded enough to consider whether or not my child is embarrassed with what I am driving. And if my child is embarrassed then I just see it as an opportunity to teach about not giving into peer pressure and commercialization. Plus, in our house - it would be a dangerous thing for a kid to act that way - cuz' Ryan and I would just crank up the embarrass-o-meter... black socks, flip flops, shorts, the works.

    Angela

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  9. I don't know what you're talking about, Angela! Your van is the COOLEST!!!

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  10. What about parents that drive a 12 passenger van? I must be "super lame"! That's OK with me because I have the coolest kids in the world in my "super lame" van. I plan to fill up my "super lame" van with totally cool kids!

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  11. Nina, I am so with you. When it comes down to it, who really cares what kind of car families own- nice and new or older and affordable?! I think we see people swing to both extremes. First it's the position that says the ONLY possible option for their families are newest and nicest in the name of "safe and reliable", of course. OR we see people swing in the other direction,saying that any family that has a nice, newer car is wasting their money and has crap priorities. I have a 20 year old Honda Accord that unfortunately just keeps going, is reliable, gets great gas mileage, etc. But I wouldn't be opposed to driving something that was made in this decade either.
    These commercials are awful! And frankly, that kid bugs me, too. :-)

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  12. I agree, Bex! There's nothing wrong with new cars. (i would love one! I'm a sucker for that new car smell) It's just too bad these "lame" commercials tell kids they are lame if their parents don't have one. LAME!

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  13. AGREED!!! I've seen it too and I hate this commercial!!! We're driving a 10 year old car that needs replacing. We've cut back on everything in order to adopt. I'm thankful my kids understand what we're trying to accomplish here. Yes, they love their toys and always want more, but they know there is a baby sister out there for them just waiting to come home and they are so good about just going to "look" at toys and not buy. I'd like an iPad, my kitchen floors refinished, a snowblower and more. But who cares? I want to see orhpans come home more than anything!

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