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This "V" Sign is for Venza!

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Wildly Exaggerated: This "V" Sign is for Venza!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

This "V" Sign is for Venza!

It's been a while since I've done an in-depth advertising analysis, and I know y'all are just too shy to ask for one, so HERE I AM. The thing is, though...I don't honestly know if this one is a FAIL or a WIN. Let's take a look at the new series of commercials for the Toyota Venza. I've seen 4 of them so far:
- the one with the girl who moves across the country and "can't imagine what her parents are doing without her"
- the one with the girl who (HILARIOUSLY) judges everyone's quality of life by the number of Facebook friends they have. (HILARIOUS! Because Facebook "friends" aren't the same as real friends, and NO ONE HAS EVER MADE THAT OBSERVATION BEFORE! HAAAAA HA HA HA HA!)
- the one with the girl who worries that, when her parents don't answer her calls, it means they are injured/unable to get to the phone
- the one with the guy who moves back home "because he's worried about his parents" and comments on how sad, boring, and lonely their lives are

So it's the same basic formula every time:
Hipster 20-something kid finds parents' existence to be pathetically boring; parents are out having a blast, unbeknownst to hipster 20-something kid.


Well, no, actually. And I'll tell you why, primarily using the example of the guy who moved back home. Here's the ad, for your reference:

Everybody put your parsin' pants on...

After college I moved back in with my parents. I was worried about 'em, you know?
The Toyota people want you to think, "Here's a self-important kid who thinks his parents can't live without him! What a little snot!" But if you're an American who graduated from college any time in the last ten years, as I did, you're more likely to think, "Aw. He couldn't get a job that paid a living wage either. Hang in there, man! I had to live with my parents for a long time too." NOT SO FUNNY NOW, IS IT?

I mean, for instance, my mom went to bed tonight before making my dinner [SHOT OF PARENTS CHEERFULLY SINGING ALONG WITH THE RADIO IN THEIR FANCY TOYOTA VENZA]. Which is fine, I mean, I know how to make dinner [SHOT OF MICROWAVE HEATING MEAL].
This is where the hilarity starts to kick in - see, he thinks his parents have gone to bed, but they have in fact gone to pick up their friends for an impromptu road trip! They didn't even bother to tell their son they left town! And really, why would they? He's such a LOSER! Look at him, eating Lean Cuisine for dinner because it was all the grocery store had for less than $4 and he didn't get home from his soul-crushing cubicle before all the restaurants closed. Oh man, this is great!

It just starts to make you wonder - is this what happens when you age? [PARENTS ARRIVE AT WHAT APPEARS TO BE BURNING MAN, HIPSTER IS NOW SITTING IN THE MOST BORING, EMPTY ROOM IN THE WORLD]
OK, now this is the high point of the whole thing. See, his parents have gone to a gigantic desert orgy to drop acid and have fun! They can afford to do that because they have faithfully voted Republican for decades, so that when the dad finally sold his company, he simultaneously dodged that federal embezzlement charge and got literally millions of dollars (at the expense of the taxpayers and his former employees) so he and his wife can live the Dionysian dream until they take so much coke their hearts stop! Meanwhile, their hapless hipster son's stuck at home, in a series of tiny beige rooms he can't even afford to decorate with posters! Ha ha ha! I bet he WISHES he was going to Burning Man, only he can't, because he has to be back at Widget Hell Incorporated at 7am, or Mr. Dithers will throw him out on the street and he won't have health insurance to pay for the anti-depressants he desperately needs to cope with the crippling heartbreak of watching literally every dream he ever had go up in an overworked, underpaid, heavily-taxed puff of smoke! God, this is a laugh!

My friends used to say I was the lucky one; I had the fun parents. Where's the fun now? [HIPSTER YELLS "GOODNIGHT" TO HIS PARENTS' CLOSED BEDROOM DOOR. THERE IS NO ANSWER.]
Oh God, I am laughing so hard I'm crying over here! "Where's the fun now?," indeed! He has to go straight to bed because it's already 1am and he has to get up in 4 hours because he has a 1.5 hour commute for that 7am start time. The only problem is that the commercial then cuts back to Burning Man, where the smug, rich, old, white people who ruined America for the rest of us are offloading bags of sex toys and syringes from the back of their fancy brand-new Toyota Venza. We never get to see the moment when the arson team they hired finally lights the house, with their son still inside, for the insurance money. And we also never see the flashback to the moment two days before, when they took out a $5 million life insurance policy on him. In a way they did him a favor; he would never have been worth more than $30k alive.

Venza-driving bastards.

So I guess I would have to conclude that if you are a law-breaking "objectivist" piece of crap who believes there is nothing more important than your own selfishness, this is a win. On the other hand, if you're an American under 40 who ever harbored dreams of owning your own home, getting adequate sleep, being able to afford medical care or having your employer treat you like anything more than a number, it's a FAIL. Perspective is really important.

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