October 12, 2017

Race-targeted ads for Toyota Camry — don't miss the one that's for white people.

This is from the NYT — "Different Ads, Different Ethnicities, Same Car" — where you can watch all the ads if you want. Click to enlarge:



The obviously targeted ones might be offensive or embarrassing:
The ad from Burrell, an agency that has specialized in African-American consumers... features... [t]he image of a peacock...

“Traditionally, Asian fathers show less emotion and affection toward their kids,” [said the executive at the agency that made the ad for Asian-Americans]. “We wanted to show that driving the Camry brought out a different side of an Asian dad...”...

When Toyota’s agencies gathered, they concluded that...  the Hispanic consumer sought “some guardrails”... a sense of responsibility, particularly to family, she said, adding that “internally, we called it ‘soaring with sense.’”
But what about white people? We're not talked about openly. We're hidden from ourselves inside this weird concept: "transcultural mainstream." Even the agency won't admit that this is the ad for white people:
“There is no Caucasian market,” said Mark Turner, chief strategy officer of Saatchi & Saatchi, who is white. “The mainstream market as defined by any mass marketer like Toyota actually comprises many different cultures, so we’re not the Caucasian agency. We’re the agency that caters to the transcultural mainstream.”
Here's that ad:

71 comments:

Darrell said...

“There is no Caucasian market”

That can be your opening statement in bankruptcy court.

Bob Ellison said...

Nothing like the sound of a 4-cylinder automatic straining to reach 60mph. Shivers.

Fernandinande said...

"transcultural mainstream."

She lets out a big sigh. “I wish I wasn’t white.”

I start. Nothing in the parenting manuals has prepared me for that.

"All we’ve ever done is hurt people," she continues. "I wish my skin was dark and that I had a culture."

++

Bob Ellison said...

BTW, “There is no Caucasian market,” said Mark Turner, chief strategy officer of Saatchi & Saatchi, who is white.

Did the writers or editors at the NYT ever take grade-school English class?

Fernandinande said...

chief strategy officer of Saatchi & Saatchi

"Chief racism officer", they probably meant to say:

Title of ‘chief’ phased out across the Toronto District School Board

"The Toronto school board will no longer have chief financial or chief communications officers, as the board finalizes efforts to change titles out of respect for Indigenous people."

Hagar said...

The main thing is to convince the Toyota executives that all these differennt ads are necessary.

Wilbur said...

I will no longer consider buying or leasing from Toyota.

robother said...

Asians looking in the rear view mirror at their kids. That explains a lot.

Ralph L said...

The Camry has been stereotyped as and labeled "an appliance" in automotive journalism for decades. Trying to sell it as a sports sedan might gain them a few sales but lose them more, because it's a good appliance.

Their sales are already yuge, so targeting segments of the market makes sense. There's not much else to conquer.

Caligula said...

Toyota is trying so very hard to be kewel. And perhaps one of the rules in this game is that if you have to try so hard then you're probably not.

This apparently follows the redesign of most of their cars to include that Billy-bigmouth-bass grill, and other styling cues that it's not your grandma's Toyota any more. Which probably won't matter much to most buyers, at least if Toyota's newly aggressive styling doesn't sacrifice too much function (such as rear-seat headroom, or visibility from the driver's seat).

The ads do seem a little to, umm, obvious. Aside from the cringeworthy race-conscious aspects, they illustrate yet again the marketers creed that what sells is the sizzle and not the steak. But, is it true? Don't people buy Camrys because they're comfortable and reliable and last practically forever (and not so much because they want to peacock, or display how caring they are, etc.)? It would be a shame if Toyota followed General Motors down the rabbit hole of chasing styling to the exclusion of quality engineering.

Of course, Toyota is a giant company, and there's a lot of ruin in such a giant organization. Just as there was in General Motors, in 1968.

rhhardin said...

Scott Adams calls it pacing.

Toyota agrees with your conception of yourself and you will agree with us this is a great car.

It used to be called an ad hominem argument.

rhhardin said...

The Yaris is a great car for cheapskates. Horrible ride, unreadable speedometer, but you save a lot.

TreeJoe said...

Wow, I was going to go test drive one of these Camry's which is getting great reviews. But I don't care for marketing based upon skin color. And if you are going to market based on skin color, I especially don't care for being told my skin color doesn't have a market.

Gahrie said...

So White people aren't allowed to have a culture anymore?

How long until they actually try to put us in chains?

Unknown said...

Well the taliban-democrats has taught this "no market" person the lesson well. Only vote for, hire and do commerce with my own tribe.

Ralph L said...

I see I contradicted myself, but my auto insurance company called in the middle of writing.

If your product has been stereotyped, are you allowed to use stereotypes to sell it?

Gahrie said...

"The Toronto school board will no longer have chief financial or chief communications officers, as the board finalizes efforts to change titles out of respect for Indigenous people."

Do these idiots realize that "chief" is not an Indian word?

AllenS said...

TOYOTA -- Let's Go Places, you drive.

Fernandinande said...

I'd buy the one that comes with the black chauffeur as long as he's articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

We're Hispanic! We're already cool so we don't need drugs!

Oso Negro said...

Message - ethnic groups can only relate to ads that show people like themselves.

tcrosse said...

And Toyota was doing so well with that cute White Woman, 'Jan', in their ads. Maybe they reached market saturation with the you-know-whos.

Freeman Hunt said...

“There is no Caucasian market,”

He doesn't mean that they don't care about white consumers. He means theirs is the dominant culture and, taken broadly, is not a market segment that is specially targeted.

Infinite Monkeys said...

"The Toronto school board will no longer have chief financial or chief communications officers, as the board finalizes efforts to change titles out of respect for Indigenous people."

Indigenous French people? Ancient Romans?

"chief (n.)
c. 1300, "head, leader, captain; the principal or most important part of anything;" from Old French chief "leader, ruler, head" of something, "capital city" (10c., Modern French chef), from Vulgar Latin *capum, from Latin caput "head," also "leader, chief person; summit; capital city" (from PIE root *kaput- "head"). Meaning "head of a clan" is from 1570s; later extended to American Indian tribes. Commander-in-chief attested from 1660s."

tcrosse said...

"The Toronto school board will no longer have chief financial or chief communications officers, as the board finalizes efforts to change titles out of respect for Indigenous people."

No more Chief Petty Officers in the Canadian Navy ?

Ralph L said...

Did you notice that Saatchi & Saatchi, who is white, is the lead agency?

LYNNDH said...

Here in CO (might be national) there is an ad about drinking juice is just drinking sugar and you should not be giving your kids all that sugar. The same ad runs in English and in Spanish. Same message. Which is good.

gg6 said...

""Different Ads, Different Ethnicities, Same Car"
And same old empty-headed BS

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Original Mike said...

Why not just paint the cars by race? Whites get the white cars, blacks get the black cars, etc.

David Docetad said...

Freeman Hunt said...
“There is no Caucasian market,”

""He doesn't mean that they don't care about white consumers. He means theirs is the dominant culture and, taken broadly, is not a market segment that is specially targeted.""

Not yet, but give the left a few more years.

eddie willers said...

I saw a colored person in MY ad!

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Freeman Hunt said...

He doesn't mean that they don't care about white consumers. He means theirs is the dominant culture and, taken broadly, is not a market segment that is specially targeted.

What he means is there's very little Groupthink among Caucasians that can be exploited to sell Toyota automobiles.

Darrell said...

There is only one race--the human race.

The Left can't stay on message. A white person once divided the world into three races. White Lefties divide the world now into 672 races.

Ray said...

All this shows is how tangled the discussion of race is in the US.

To me it's good marketing to focus on whatever differentiates your market meaningfully to achieve superior results. The hypthesis being different cultures value different things in an adv, which I believe is multicultural.

What would be interesting is how they targeted these ads. Tv is easy, but did they do so online?

If they showed a white driver adv on BET, would this be racist?

Darrell said...

I saw a colored person in MY ad!

Everyone is in your ad. Even Harvey Weinstein.

CJinPA said...

The joys of our multicultural society, which is getting more multi every day. Different speech, history, values, holidays, churches, language, entertainment...for different folks.

Our K-12 school district is telling teachers never to say "American is a melting pot."

If you had to come up with a plan to destroy a nation, this one looks pretty good. Or, maybe it will herald a new age of peace and love. It will be exiting to see what happens.

Gahrie said...

What he means is there's very little Groupthink among Caucasians that can be exploited to sell Toyota automobiles.

Or, conversely, that there is groupthink among races other than Whites that can be exploited.

Ralph L said...

The "white" ad is also twice as long as the others.

BDNYC said...

I've noticed a shift away from generic whites in advertising over the last few years. I don't really care, but it's still pretty noticeable, and it's clearly no accident. I think the idea is that moneyed cultural liberals -- although predominately white themselves -- are filled with warm feelings and feel reassured when "diversity" is on display, and thus it pays to show minorities and mixed couples and gays and whatnot. The company selling the product is communicating on some level with the target audience, and the message is "we are the good guys, you can buy our product without shame or guilt, in fact it may enhance your social standing to be seen with our product."

BDNYC said...

In other words, ALL of the Toyota ads are targeting whites.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Gahrie said...

Or, conversely, that there is groupthink among races other than Whites that can be exploited.

Yep, looks like skin color does matter. At least it does to Madison Ave. This is not the way the future was supposed to work out. We seem to be looping back into the 1950's in some respects.

Nonapod said...

These non-white ads are targeted specifically to white people.

People like to feel good about themselves. People don't like it when other people accuse them of being racist, it makes them feel bad about themselves; it makes them feel that they have to defend themselves. Conversely, people like it when other people consider them kind, open minded, and not-racist. And above all else, people like belonging to a group.

These ads exploit these simple truths of human nature. For non-white people, these ads may make them feel included. For white people these ads may make them feel good about themselves. And since any criticism of these ads could be categorized as simple racism, and nobody likes being accused of being racist; people may fear being critical of them. It's much easier to feel good about yourself as a non-racist good person and ignore any lingering doubts. So these ads may be a win-win from a marketing perspective.

Of course, the downside is that if people are aware of these truths and acknowledge these feelings within themselves and they can comprehend understand these marketing tactics for what they are, they will feel like they're being deceived. They may feel being honest with themselves as well as other people is more important than trying to avoid being accused of being racist. But the Toyota marketers understand this too, and their simple bet is that there's far more people who would rather take the path of feeling good about themselves (the path of least resistance) than would risk being honest and being accused of being racist. And generally they're probably right. But this is 2017, the year of cultural strife and chaos. Who knows what may happen?

CJinPA said...

We seem to be looping back into the 1950's in some respects.

Of course. We've gone from, "Your skin color defines you" to "Our differences are only skin deep" and back to "My skin color defines me!"

What was once prohibited (judging people by skin color) is now mandated.

YoungHegelian said...

Oh, Lordy, Toyota is now putting that same awful front grill on the Camry that have been on the Lexus for a couple of years now.

Whoever came up with that design should be politely but firmly asked to commit seppuku at his earliest convenience.

Gaius Gracchus said...

Toyota has been trying to "get cool" for a long time. The Camry is a great dependable car that last a long time. It is bought by a lot of older folks who used to buy Buicks. And by middle-aged suburbanites and such.

But it isn't "cool" or "hip" and that really annoys the executives in marketing.

It does look like the styling is copying better looking models in the same segment. I hope it doesn't drive away too many customers.

Amadeus 48 said...

After that, I don't think I want a Toyota.

Maybe a Mercedes. Now THERE is a white person's car...along with a Jeep and a Volvo...and a Lada.

walter said...

Hagar said...The main thing is to convince the Toyota executives that all these differennt ads are necessary.
--
True..awesome accounts to have.

tcrosse said...

Oh, Lordy, Toyota is now putting that same awful front grill on the Camry that have been on the Lexus for a couple of years now.

Almost as bad as the Acura Beak.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

CJinPA said...

Of course. We've gone from, "Your skin color defines you" to "Our differences are only skin deep" and back to "My skin color defines me!"

What was once prohibited (judging people by skin color) is now mandated.


My how times change! It seems I recall Jesse Jackson went after Toyota for doing just that about 20 years ago.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Whoever came up with that design should be politely but firmly asked to commit seppuku at his earliest convenience.

You spelled "ad campaign" and "helped" wrong.

n.n said...

[color] Diversity.

Martin said...

I am sure that was all researched to the nth degree but the "white ad" reminds me of "New Coke".

They spent 20 years establishing the Camry as a family sedan, and with this ad they throw all that away.

They needed to break off a new nameplate, maybe a 2-door with more aggressive styling and a turbo engine and a different name, if they wanted to market it to people who would respond to this appeal.

If this ad agency specializes in slicing and dicing demographics but views all Caucasians as identical... WTF would you have them do a mainstream ad? Maybe they could do the ads that appear on BET or some niche programs, but NOT the mainstream, which by their own admission they have no feel for or interest in.

Something very peculiar going on here.

Bemac said...

When we lived in Indiana, where the Camry is manufactured, Toyota ads said the car was built "for Hoosiers by Hoosiers."

irony said...

irony said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MikeinAppalachia said...

" It will be exiting to see what happens"

May you live in interesting times.

MikeinAppalachia said...

"When we lived in Indiana, where the Camry is manufactured, Toyota ads said the car was built "for Hoosiers by Hoosiers.""

Interesting-when was this? They have been made in Georgetown, KY for about 30 years.

TwilightofLiberty.com said...

Does this mean us crackers really are the acme of evolution? We already strut perfectly, have appropriate and mature interactions with our parents and show appropriate affection to our children? We're so perfect there's no angle from which they can pitch us their product?

To quote fellow honky Tom Petty, it's good to be king.

Mountain Maven said...

Gimme more Trump!

Sam L. said...

I'm SO glad I don't watch network TV.

pdug said...

"Traditionally, Asian fathers show less emotion and affection toward their kids"

is that a different way to say

"Typically...."

"Stereotypically...."

Bad Lieutenant said...

They needed to break off a new nameplate, maybe a 2-door with more aggressive styling and a turbo engine and a different name, if they wanted to market it to people who would respond to this appeal.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Camry_Solara

Bemac said...

Mike, "for Hoosiers by Hoosiers" was a tagline on Toyota's company TV ads a couple of years ago. (We lived in Carmel, which is in the Indianapolis TV market.) A neighbor told me the Camry was built there, but the Google tells me Toyota makes trucks and SUVs in the state. I stand corrected on the model, but not about Toyota's target marketing to the members of the Hoosier nationality.

Mea culpa.

Char Char Binks said...

Have you ever noticed that dogs like to see other dogs on TV?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ok, help me out: it's woke to recognize different races and the different cultures and traditions of different races. It's very UNwoke to say "I don't see color" or anything like that--doing that is itself evidence of privilege and/or white supremacy. Different races are so distinct it's a horrible sin to for someone of another race to "appropriate" some cultural marker of another race--certain traits, beliefs, and practices must stay within one race or else that's white supremacy, too. Diversity is not only important it's the highest goal of all woke organizations and promoting diversity means ensuring that you're giving appropriate attention to the different needs, values, and tastes of different minority groups.
Right?
So what the hell is wrong with having different ads for different groups?!

Maybe I'll just never get it 'cause I'm a white man but there seems to be absolutely no consistency to the woke demands of women and minorities with respect to whether they want separate (special) treatment or not. If you treat 'em the same they complain that you're ignoring their specialness and by lumping them in with everyone else you're not properly accounting for/showing deference to their existence (whitewashing, etc). If you treat 'em as different and separate (by recognizing their different tastes & accounting for that in your marketing materials) then they complain that you're singling them out, relying on stereotypes, or "othering" them instead of agreeing that we're all the same and there are no identifiable differences in terms of tastes, average metrics, etc.

Those two ideas are diametrically opposed. The Left complains about both simultaneously.
Sure seems like the only winning move is not to play.

Deirdre Mundy said...

"For Hoosiers, By Hoosiers"

A lot of suppliers for Camry parts are in Indiana though.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Amadeus 48 said...
After that, I don't think I want a Toyota.

Maybe a Mercedes. Now THERE is a white person's car...along with a Jeep and a Volvo...and a Lada.


Oh man, busted! You got me on 2/4 and family members with another 1. #HoodlumSoWhite apparently.

Jersey Fled said...

I don't feel bad when someone accuses me of being a racist.

I feel angry.

This is what liberals don't get.

Amadeus 48 said...

Hoodlum--
I chug along with a 2005 Saab with a clutch and a stick. That, too, is a white person's car, but you can't buy 'em anymore.
#AmadeusSoWhite

JAORE said...

Cool, I am no longer white. I am Transcultural Mainstream.

Is there a Transcultural Mainstream (TM) privilege?

Will there be a TM block on the census form?