Obviously, the more time passes, especially in our new era of abundant and omnipresent information, people become more “aware” of the machinations of the world around them. (I mean, sort of. Not that much a lot of times, it feels like, but you know, a little at least.) This is particularly apparent in our relationship with advertising, where everyone hates being marketed to and is becoming more and more adept at knowing when someone is trying to sell them something, which thereby makes the advertiser need to use ever more clever tricks in order to circumvent the potential customer’s skepticism and dissatisfaction with the process. That’s how you get sneaky advertising placement, like an ad for Mario Batali’s frozen chicken alfredo sauce placed on a urinal cake. That’s how you get viral marketing, where it seems like a homemade video that you or I might upload to YouTube but then in reality it turns out to be a cleverly disguised advertisement for a Gilette razor with all the blades. And on and on. These days, you’re often unlikely to even know what an ad is actually FOR. It’s enough, or at least the advertisers seem to think it is enough, to simply place an unusual and memorable visual in your head, even if that unusual and memorable visual isn’t directly linked to the product they’re selling. All of this being said, it’s still hard to even know WHAT is going on in this new foreign market Toyota advertisement:
What? I mean, I kind of know what, but also WHAT? For one thing, I am not sure how this is going to sell actual cars. Who wants to buy a car after watching this? I’m also very confused about what this ad is saying about sex and Toyota and gender roles and the world. Is it actually subversively pro-transgender indentification? Is it saying that this car is like a beautiful woman that you are correct in “wanting to fuck” but then whoops, it turns out this car is actually a dude, but he is still beautiful, and so but you should buy this car because nothing is truly different about your desires and everyone actually exists on a fluid scale of autosexuality? Just kidding. This ad is literally just a dumb frat guy at a bar teasing you because the “10” you thought you were hitting it off with has an adam’s apple. Fuck you. Buy a Toyota. Talk to your parents. Explore life. I have no idea.