Over the past few years, Toyota has run some pretty unusual ad campaigns for its range of Prius Hybrids, from the cute Harmony TV spot through to the mildly disturbing People Person creation and the downright hilarious Cleaner Than-A-Sheep print ad.
Now the Japanese automaker wants you to don walking boots, safari hat, grab your binoculars and head over to its Prius Kingdom, where Toyota Priuses run wild in a fairytale world filled with green trees, lush grass and ne’er a traffic jam.
“In nature, every species must evolve to survive,” says the enthusiastic voiceover as a young family on safari walk through a grass-filled valley in Toyota’s latest Aspartame ad. “But once in a while,” it continues, “a species comes along which does much more than survive. It creates a legacy.”
The ad continues its faux nature documentary, with one of the family members peering excitedly at the 2012 Toyota Prius V through a pair of high-tech binoculars. It is, we’re lead to believe, feeding on gasoline at the local watering hole.
“Get a load of that cargo room,” continues the voiceover. “Hurry! It could be many weeks before it drinks again.”
Inviting you to discover “all four breeds of Toyota Prius”, the ad then directs you to Toyota’s similarly twee website, where Toyota’s Prius Kingdom nature specialist puts on a super saccharine performance introducing each car and its key features in an interactive, cloying hell.
Take the 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid, for example.
“We’ve been following the new Prius Plug-in for the last couple of hours and expected her to stop about 100 miles ago. But she hasn’t stopped once, until now. And we’re not going to let her get away again,” we’re told in true Discovery Channel fashion by our Prius guide. “She’s unafraid to show her true colors, so let’s take a look at her,” he continues.
In short doses, we have to admit that Toyota’s Prius Kingdom is a little cute, even clever -- if a little precious. But after more than 30 seconds of exploring its interactive web site we wanted to run away screaming.
And we normally like nature documentaries.
But what about you? Click through to the site, and tell us what you think in the Comments below.