Well, it's happened. The mere mention of the Toyota Prius makes millions of dollars. At least that's what I'm getting from a recently announced study.
Automotive News reports that the Prius is the most talked-about hybrid vehicle online on sale today, and that according to a marketing firm it has made $14.5 million in media value between January and April of this year. I don't speak marketing fluently, but I'd imagine that basically means that a lot of people are taking about the Prius and that's really valuable for Toyota.
It makes sense. Recently, I've had to talk a lot of people out of instantly going to a Toyota dealership and buying a Prius and plead that they test drive something else. It was as if their cars were programmed to do just that.
The president of GenSent Insights, the marketing firm behind the study, even said that when the big Mr. Jeremy Clarkson mentioned a Prius on Twitter, mentions of the car spiked. He was probably making fun of it, but apparently that doesn't even matter.
Now that we can't even make fun of a Prius on social media without Toyota presumably making money off of it, I'm going to start refering to it as something else. The Toyota nudge-wink, perhaps. Let's see if it catches on.