Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Toyota Cracks the Viral Video Code: Here’s Your Swagger Wagon

All marketers say they want viral videos. But few have any idea how to create one. Toyota has figured this one out, though, with a clip released this week promoting its Sienna Minivan. Remember when the idea of selling minivans on YouTube sounded nuts?

A few notes:

  • Toyota has been doing variations on this theme all year, including a Super Bowl spot. You can see them all on the “Channel” page Toyota has set up on Google’s (GOOG) YouTube. But none of them have caught on like this clip.
  • If director Jody Hill’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s one of the guys behind the excellent Eastbound & Down. If you haven’t seen it, you should. (Saatchi & Saatchi gets credit for the whole thing).
  • So here’s the thing: I’m pretty sure I’m at the bull’s-eye center of the target demo for this one. And it makes me feel warm about Toyota (TM), unintended acceleration or no. But I’m still not buying a minivan. Yet.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik