Jonathan Salem Baskin, the man who wrote "Branding only works on cattle", just wrote about that infamous "dancing around the car through the ages" Toyota Corolla ad in Adage today. Cliff notes; he doesn't like it either.
I can imagine the roomful of dealers when Toyota debuted the primary TV commercial for its campaign to launch the 2014 Corolla. Called "Style Never Goes Out of Style," it shows various past Corolla models surrounded by period-appropriate dancers, music and schtick. Even after hearing about the extensive research and intent that went into its creation, the dealers must have begun to madly calculate how they were going to sell the cars in spite of it.
Jonathan Salem Baskin, who can be found here on twitter continues to rip it apart with four main points, one of them being: "Repetition of nonsense is still nonsense." Like I said... There's no there, there.
The days of announcing branding are over. No ad can say a brand is "cool" or "different," or credibly claim any other quality, since consumers are too cynical and distrusting to believe it anymore. The Toyota spot expends considerable time and obvious expense to declare that the Corolla has always been "with it," when we know it has been mostly a boring, utilitarian and otherwise highly successful model. MTV had a saying long ago that if you had to say you were cool, you weren't. Corolla isn't.
His review is spot on, and I've already listed the myriad of reasons that I didn't like it either. It's disappointing to see the same agency that came up with the Camry effect, and the lovely animated Toyota Prius "Hum", suddenly produce gunk like Camry reinvented and this new pileup of a danceathon. Toyota and Saatchi, you can do better, clearly. What happened?