Toyota Commercial Sparks YouTube Sensation

Posted: May 05, 2010 10:51 a.m.

Toyota has the blogosphere buzzing about its online marketing campaign for the 2011 Sienna minivan… or, ehem… “Swagger Wagon.” The automaker has released a series of promos via YouTube that look more like sketches from Saturday Night Live than traditional minivan commercials.

Case in point: a hilarious music video by the Swagger Family -- a stereotypical white American suburbanite family rhyming about kissing booboos, cleaning doggie doodoos, cutting crusts off of PB&J’s and chilling Yoohoos. And yes, the song features T-Pain’s signature auto-tune sound.

In all, Toyota has produced ten videos -- each one funnier than the last. While every one hypes the 2011 Toyota Sienna, subject matters range from “Daddy Like Bonding Time” to “Mommy Like Versatility.”

Thus far, Toyota’s YouTube campaign has proven wildly successful. The Swagger Family music video hasn’t been out for a week and has already garnered over 300,000 views. This is all good news for Toyota, which has been battling a PR nightmare for reported cases of unintended acceleration in many of its best selling vehicles.

While the Sienna has not faced issues related to acceleration, Toyota did recently recall 600,000 models of the minivan manufactured between 1998 and 2010 for reported corrosion problems in their spare tire carrier cables that could cause spare tires to fall and cause crashes.

While it remains to be seen how a series of funny YouTube videos can help repair Toyota’s damaged reputation for safety and reliability, one thing’s for sure: it hasn’t hurt.

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