An online backlash is growing against a smutty Toyota ad featuring a girl’s father and boyfriend having an innuendo-laden discussion about taking her virginity and “having her on her back” .
The video – winner of a Toyota-endorsed competition – has been accused of having incestuous overtones and already generated consumer complaints to the car company, which stands by it as “funny and well made”.
The ad was produced, directed and entered by Brisbane-based Play TV, with post production by Graetz Media – and was last week named by Toyota as the winner of its Clever Film Competition, which was organised by Saatchi & Saatchi. The running of the competition was the ad agency’s entry into Toyota’s live social media pitch which saw five social media campaigns being run for the Toyota Yaris. Toyota is due to reveal its agency choice in the next few days.
The entry, “Clean Getaways” – which was selected by a jury after finishing in the top ten most commented upon and viewed videos – also won $7000.
It features a young man who knocks on the door of the girl’s home and introduces himself to her father as “Horny”, before adding: “I’m here to take Jennifer’s virginity out tonight.”
The young woman then walks into shot, wearing a black minidress, calling out “I’m coming!”. The young man mutters: “You will be soon.”
He then chats to the father about “a couple of nice big air bags to throw my head into” and “traction control for when it gets a bit slippery”. The father then enthusiastically interjects: ‘She can take a good pounding in any direction”.
The girl then adds: “I’m ready to blow”.
The final scene sees the boyfriend inform the father: “I’ll have her on her back by 11”. The dad responds to this news by performing the trademark Toyota jump into the air.
The ad was selected by the jury – whose members haven’t been revealed- from ten finalists. The jury consisted of Saatchi & Saatchi creative staff, Toyota representatives and others from within the Yaris target demographic market.
In the days since the winner was announced on the competition’s Facebook page, the verdict has caused consternation among some members of the group. One commented on the group’s Facebook wall:
“The idea is very offensive and incredibly degrading to women. I am by no means a crazy feminist, I’m just very surprised that a clever ideas agency and a reputable car company would choose the smuttiest entry as the winner. Would Toyota really want to be affiliated with this?
“I highly doubt young men would now choose to drive a Yaris just because they saw a willing young girl sexually objectified in front of her father in this clip. “She can take a good pounding in any direction”. Really quite sick and ridiculous.
Another wrote yesterday: “I have written and lodged a formal complaint with Toyota’s Australian head office regarding this specific competition entry/winner. I would encourage those who feel the same to also write formal complaints to Toyota. This is 2009! Women should not have to be dealing with this vulgar objectification.”
Another said: “The ad features a father and his daughter’s boyfriend agreeing together, in a matey way, that the daughter is going to get a ‘good pounding’. It has incestuous overtones – I’m sure the makers weren’t intending this – but I think most audiences, male or female would be uncomfortable with it.”
Another added: “Being female this was one huge turn off.”
Another comment read: “Demographically this is Toyota shooting itself in the face. This may have won the com, but it won’t go on TV. It would get complaints and be pulled. It’s 2009 and some things never change.”
Another said: “OH MY GOD! The winning entry is so gross! It was not a clever FILM, but rather a sexist AD! Why was the dad jumping for joy at the end? Was he happy his daughter was going to get a “good pounding”? Every woman and decent man I know would say that this AD was not only juvenile but really disgusting and offensive. Big mistake Saatchi/Toyota.”
Comments have also begun to appear on the YouTube video itself, with one person writing: “Is this a joke? This is the winner! A boyfriend and father degrading a young girl is clever, creative and original? It makes me wonder about the dodgy competition now. Smutty, offensive comments about young girls is not original or creative.”
Advertising blogger Philip O’Neill described it as “abuser-generated content“. He wrote:
“I’ll bet you any sum of money you like you will distance yourself from it. You’ll do it as soon as the complaints start flooding in. You’ll do it as soon as the first staff member with a family and a spine tells you he’s ashamed to work for Toyota. And you’ll most certainly do it when the first women’s group calls for a boycott of Toyota. Perhaps they’ll set up a Facebook page, one I would wager will enlist a few more fans than the number your Yaris efforts managed.”
The ad has also generated vigorous debate on the caradvice.com.au website.
Todd Connolly, Toyota Australia’s manager of direct marketing and social media, told Mumbrella: “We wouldn’t distance ourselves from it by any means. It’s not an ad that we are putting to air. It’s user generated content. I don’t really see it as an issue. The people on the jury who saw it thought it was funny and well made.”
While conceding that it was the official winner of the Yaris competition and had been selected by a jury that included Toyota and Saatchi & Saatchi representatives, he added: “The YouTube group is being run by Saatchi & Saatchi, rather than directly by us.”
Second in the competition was this video from Sydney’s Rufio Media, which won $3000:
The third placed work, winner of $1000, was by Michael Demosthenous: