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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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work