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Toyota Prius Harmony Commercial is a Winner

I consider myself evironmentally aware (my fiance Anette works at SunRun and I commute in a 100mpg Honda Ruckus)... but I am certainly not an 'environmentalist' (I also drive an eight-seater SUV). Yet it's the environmental angle that Toyota's newest Prius commercial, "Harmony", that is so captivating.

The third generation of the Prius looks slightly different - but obviously far from the road's most attractive car. The appeal of the car has always been its performance and environmental soundness - which the commercial captures perfectly. The surroundings are colorful, represent each of the seasons and elements, and are played by hundreds of smiling people. The music and voice-over deliver that same message: "The Prius. It's harmony between man, nature and machine."

I typically find car commercials obnoxious and ineffective - particularly when I see the same F150 commercial during every timeout of a sporting event. But I'd be glad to have these commercials replace Howie Long's.

From Toyota:

"Toyota presents the 3rd generation Prius . Welcome to Harmony, where Man's wants and Nature's needs agree. Using the wind, sun and advanced hybrid technology, Prius balances our demand for mobility with the natural order of things. It's a hybrid like no other, the first to benefit from three cycles of design evolution. The 2010 Toyota Prius. Moving Forward."

Why Toyota's Scion Campaign Resonates with the Social Web

While watching TV, I just came across the latest Toyota Scion television campaign "United by Individuality" and it strangely tied up several of the last week's conversations for me.

While at SpaceCamp and through over various other email exchanges / phone calls, I've engaged in several discussions about what makes virtual worlds like Gaia so popular... and their business models so effective. The answer is captured very well in Toyota's campaign, which screams, "individuality!"

If the fabric of the social web is about tying personalities and communities together - the essence of the community's individual's is through unique identity. Think about:

- how many ringtones are sold - how people purchase MySpace themes and formats (Wordpress as well) - how many virtual goods / gifts people purchase

These are all purchased to stand out and individualize oneself within the larger (often commoditized) community. And Toyota is doing something similar: selling sturdy but *relatively* inexpensive cars aimed at younger audiences... but making the car customizable enough that drivers can make their models stand out from the 1,000s of other cars (and purchase Toyota equipment in the process).