Sometimes you have to run something just 'cause it's goofy. And so it is with today's item, showing the Japanese-market "DecoPrius" concept whose goal is to lure young women's interest back to a product they view as increasingly anti-social: the automobile.
In urbanized Japan, cars are far less necessary than in the US. And increasingly, teenage and 20-something Japanese view cars--any cars--with something between disinterest and disgust.
They're just not considered even remotely cool, compared to devices like computers, mobile phones, and music players, or pursuits like shopping or travel.
Enter "DecoDen," a lifestyle in which young Japanese women customize small objects, from notebooks to personal electronics, with unique patterns in rhinestones. Some do it themselves; others pay for one-of-a-kind designs at shops that offer the service.
Hence the prospect of a 2010 Toyota Prius, painted bright red and covered in pink graphics and multi-colored rhinestone patterns. Toyota is showing the car to DecoDen fans in hopes they'll come to view the company's products as hipper and more with-it.
It's pretty clear to us that the Prius is marketed very differently in the US than in Japan. Somehow, we'd expect customized versions here in the US to showcase more of a green color.
After all, as that ubiquitous TV ad depicts, the Toyota Prius is apparently biodegradable, made of nothing but sticks and leaves ....
2010 Toyota Prius - DecoPrius concept, Japan