Congratulations, Toyota. In the middle of a deep recession, when consumers are hesitant to open their wallets, companies have to pull out all the stops to get their attention. But it isn't every day that an unforgettable (or unforgivable?) marketing campaign can drive so many people to distraction, causing them to loathe a usually admired brand.
Like most beleaguered automakers these days, Toyota is offering a very attractive zero-percent financing rate on a dozen of its models. The 30-second commercial touting the program, which is saturating televised sporting events and other prime-time TV, has left viewers vitriolic. In the ad, a giant red zero moves around the screen while a sedated-sounding man hauntingly drones the line "Saved by zero" - financing, get it? - over and over. The jingle is actually a re-recording of a 1980s song of the same name by British new-wave band the Fixx. "It's right at that border where it's catchy enough that it gets stuck in your head, but not good enough that you like it," says Dan Sarles, a business school graduate who is among a growing legion of viewers complaining about the ad online
6 months ago