Anyone who has watched any sporting event in the last few weeks has been subjected to a wrist-slitting Toyota commercial featuring a cover of "Saved By Zero" by The Fixx. While succeeding in it's desire to get you to remember the company's promise of 0% financing, you're not alone in feeling like you want to punch a flat-head screwdriver into your ear every time you hear it, as the numerous Facebook groups attacking the ad's simple, catchy and annoying jingle would attest. But maybe that's Toyota's secret plan. Toyota broke with recently established practice of infrequent commercial re-airs by running the ad so frequently it's completely unavoidable. According to Esquire's count, it ran seven times during the Jets-Chiefs game, six times during the Steelers-Giants game and five times during the Pats-Broncos game on Monday. Why? Creativity's Teressa Iezzi has a guess:
"There are a few reasons that this spot has had a seemingly disproportionate impact given its relative quality," explains Teressa Iezzi, editor of the advertising publication Creativity. "One, of course, is repetition. The spot is played over and over relentlessly during games, which are typically watched in real time, rather than DVRed. "According to the old media buying rules, you'd never run a spot with this frequency—precisely for the reason that you didn't want to annoy or deaden an audience to your message," Iezzi adds. "But I think ridiculous repetition has become a media strategy in itself, particularly for low budget efforts like this one." Though the public's reaction to the "Saved by Zero" ads has been mostly negative, no one will argue the campaign's effectiveness. "With so much clutter now, and so many media options, cultural transcendence is huge," Iezzi says. "It's what creative people aim for. In the case of 'Saved by Zero', if it happens to make thousands of people want to stick forks in their eyes—well, that's a small price to pay."
There you have it, the more people get upset over the really cheap-looking and otherwise poor-quality commercial, the better for Toyota. Saved by Zero! Saved by Zero! Buy a Toyota. We're a little sad they didn't go with Elvis Costello's "Less Than Zero", which is a much better song. The offensive ad, below — if you can handle it. Click to view
[Sources: Esquire, AdRants]