TOYOTA PRIUS AMONG KELLOGG STUDENTS’ FAVORITES
Despite the challenge, advertisers still doled out $4.8 million dollars in 2016 for a 30-second spot. Consider it a high pressure, bet-the-house gamble that separates the adults from the adolescents. Why do it? For one, Super Bowl spots have become pop culture landmarks. Once the staple of water cooler chat, Super Bowl ads – and their accompanying analysis – now dominates social media. Who could resist talking or posting about sheep belting out Queen’s “Somebody to Love,” William Dafoe morphing into Marilyn Monroe, or a “PuppyMonkeyBaby” inspiring a conga line?
Behind the flash and funny is a serious purpose. With the rare chance to find 112 million potential customers clustered together, the world’s top brands are pulling out all stops to entertain, educate, and drive sales. Problem is, they’re competing against over 50 other brands, to burst through the noise and clutter to start a conversation. When it came to doing just that, no advertiser did better than Toyota this year.
Americans love car chases – and the Prius delivered one of the best since Chinatown. In this 90-second spoof, bank robbers hijack a Prius for their getaway. The police quickly tail them, even commenting that “This thing is actually pretty fast” over their radio. As the chase for the “Prius 4” ensues, viewers witness some of the vehicle’s features, such as a rear camera, easy handling, and quiet engine. As you’d expect, the “Prius” name is repeated throughout the spot. Not to mention, the brand even pokes fun at itself as news anchors joke about a police chase involving a Prius – “Folks, we can’t make this stuff up.”
For those who frown upon felons-as-protagonists, Toyota even developed a follow up spot where police develop a Prius squad car: “To catch a Prius, you’ve got to be a Prius.” Somewhere, Jen is laughing with approval at her desk.
Based on the ADPLAN framework, the ad was a winner, hoots Rucker. “The product was focal to the story. It has excellent branding, with the construct we call linkage here at Kellogg. It then showcased features, so we saw aspects of positioning, again another strategic feature we’re looking at. And then we add a good feel to it, a positive response or amplification.”
Firestone concurs with Rucker’s assessment, calling Toyota the consensus winner across the panel. “It did a real good job if you apply our ADPLAN framework across all the different characteristics that we were looking for,” she shares. “It got your attention with the chase theme. It held your attention with the humor. It was very distinctive for a car ad – It’s not what you’d normally expect, which is good. It had clear positioning, by showing a lot of the product features and benefits throughout the chase scene.”
Even more, it passed Rucker’s litmus test of “What was that ad for?” “We were calling this a ‘Prius ad.’ That’s opposed to that crazy ad with the monkeybaby. That’s the Mountain Dew ad, but people were calling it something else.”