Branding messages that drive you round the bend

OK, so the Toyota RAV4 ad (Private View, DW 17 October and Letters, DW 14 November) is no masterpiece. But, hazy locale apart, it’s not that bad.

We may scoff at the idea of Toyota as the badge of the rebel, but brand building has to start somewhere, right? After all, Land Rover has done quite nicely out of generating an equally unlikely association between its previously dowdy brand and a spirit of adventure by developing the Freelander.

Far worse, in my view, is the recent Fiat ad where a bunch of yuppyish New Yorkers get into a car and start ‘playing’ the various bits of technology inside, which include the windscreen wipers, the door locks, the windows and so on, grinning inanely as they do so. And this tells us what about the brand? Precisely nothing, except that the car’s electronica overload is probably a hefty repair bill in waiting.

And we won’t even mention the one in which the West Midlands Fiat owner toe-curlingly berates his partner using the lyrics to 1980s new romantic group Human League’s Don’t You Want Me. Now those ads are real stinkers.

Jan Dekker



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