Toyota Highlander Advertisements

If Only Kids Bought the Car

Toyota Dealerships have been running a line of advertising that is, believe it or not, aimed at our children for the most part, instead of the adults, who by the way are the ones with the money.




It seems rather odd that this would be the case, for an item so large and for the cost of such an item, for it is not a book, a toy car, or a yo-yo we are talking about here. It is the Toyota Highlander, an SUV, that is advertised as a very sleek and up to date kind of car that you would want to be seen in. As a matter of fact, instead of coming out and saying just that, we have a child, who I would have under normal circumstances called cute. The fact of the matter in my opinion, Toyota has made him look like a spoiled, upper middle class preppy sort of youngster who gets his way a lot, if he applies himself.

I have seen several different versions of this line of advertising, all with this same child, and he is saying such things as "Just because you are a parent does not mean you have to be a lame!" and "If Jimmy's parents drove something like this, he wouldn't be embarrassed to get into his car after school." and "On long trips singing with your parents sucks," and he then pulls down his own private DVD Player in the backseat and continues with, "so if you are a parent, that doesn't mean you have to be a lame."

In other ads we parents are referred to as being dorky, lames, we are not "with it", and are referred to everything without coming right out and calling us stupid. All of this is intimating that because we do not have one of these wonderful good looking and child friendly vehicles, it is because of our lack of money or our choice not to spend it correctly, therefore we are being classified as lame in our children's eyes.

Pushing this line of advertising at our children and aiming it at our families is altogether wrong, for it is putting pressure on our children that need not be. The ad circumvents the normal chain of command, so to speak, that we as parents make these types of decisions for our families. These ads are putting the pressure of the kids and are aimed directly at our kids, saying that their parents are stupid, and their families are lame if they do not see that this is the best car for them.

This is how cereal and toys are sold, and it should not be the way cars are sold. It is hard enough on parents to say no to Sugar Frosted Sugar Smacks, With Extra Sugar, no less a car. Moreover children should not be made to feel inferior to everyone else just because the television says so.


This is only one of the many advertisements that are on the air, and during prime time child viewing, so who are we really selling these cars to?

Playing on the heartstrings of children, making them feel sorry for themselves and all because of the parents that are at the heart of their embarrassment.  We, the guilty, the lame, and the dumb for not buying the right car, because we are lame, that's who.

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Comments 2 comments

ddsurfsca profile image

ddsurfsca 5 years ago from ventura., california Author

that was my thought exactly.


Kaio 5 years ago

I saw this ad too and my wife's reaction to the Highlander kid was "What a Brat!".

I then thought to myself why would Toyota go out of the way to alienate their 'family' buyers by portraying their kids like brats. I think they need to rethink this.

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