Toyota USA – Irvine, CA (GlossyNews) — In response to ever-expanding recalls, carmaker Toyota will revamp its marketing and advertising programs to emphasize the “fun and excitement” of sudden acceleration, SUV rollovers and other unique attributes its vehicles have become known for.
“We’re missing the fun factor in all this,” said a senior Toyota marketing executive. “There’s a certain excitement about these vehicles that’s unique and special.”
In addition to new tv commercials, Toyota will boost its NASCAR presence, encourage customer stunt driving and introduce a new “crash crazy” videogame.
“More NASCAR tie-ins are a huge opportunity,” said a source at the company’s ad agency. “Wide open throttles, cars out of control, crashing into walls … NASCAR and Toyota are made for each other.”
According to the Toyota executive, the marketing team brainstormed “top notch” ideas for a Customer Stunt Driving Track where consumers can “experience for themselves the hotter, zippier vehicles that are today’s Toyotas,” as well as a videogame for young urban audiences, tentatively titled “Hot T: Crash My Ride.”
Industry analysts applauded Toyota’s bold approach and speculated it would spur other automakers to step up their game.
“This demonstrates the flexibility and ingenuity that kept Toyota on top of the industry for decades,” said one automotive expert. “In this business, you sell the cars you built, not the ones you wish you’d built.”
“If you’re GM, I think you’re watching this very closely,” said another analyst. “Forget their electric vehicle plans. Americans talk about green technology, but when they buy a car they want to smell burning rubber and fossil fuel exhaust.”
A senior engineer at General Motors confirmed the U.S. carmaker is eyeing Toyota’s new gambit and considering a counter move, though it is unclear how quickly GM can respond.
“We can screw up the throttle so it sticks wide open starting tomorrow,” the engineer confided. “It’s more a matter of how much time our marketing people need to get the advertising ready.”
Although GM recently paid back its taxpayer bailout loans, the federal government still owns billions in GM stock, igniting a new round of debate in the nation’s capital.
“We must end America’s dangerous dependence on foreign sources of fast cars,” President Obama said in a press conference. “Today I’m calling on the government employees of GM to meet this challenge head on.”
“Fast driving accounts for one-sixteenth of our economy,” argued Republican House leader John Boehner. “I’m not opposed to throttle reform, but I am opposed to shoving it down the throats of the American people.”
Meanwhile, after reviewing Toyota’s plans U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood backed off an initial statement that Toyota NASCAR drivers should complete all recall repairs before racing.
“These guys are professionals,” LaHood said. “I don’t see any problems here.”