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Main > Archives > 2008 > November > Toyota's "Saved By Zero" Ad Drives Viewers Crazy

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Toyota's "Saved By Zero" Ad Drives Viewers Crazy

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Jingles have a profound ability to attract or repel customers, and if you think that's an exaggerated claim, just ask one of the 2,250 members of the Facebook Group "Stop Playing Toyota's 'Saved by Zero' Commercial."
A description on the group page reads:

What started on 10/26 as a solitary plea for sanity has turned into a nationwide cry for action. Group membership reached 400 on 11/2 in only a week. The group size doubled twice per that in the space of only 72 hours. Wikipedia and a recently published AP story have referenced this group to show the public reaction to this ad campaign.

Some of the comments on the discussion board reveal why the ad campaign has failed miserably. Members compare the ad's jingle to finger nails on a chalkboard. One Toyota Corolla owner joked:

As a Corolla owner I must say that commercial makes me want to drive into a tree. Good thing it isn't on the radio yet.

Toyota's hated ad boasts zero percent financing with a phrase from a 1984 song by rock band "The Fixx". Judging from the feedback,viewers hate the quantity, not quality of the jingle in the ad. Three short words- "Saved by zero" are repeated ad nauseum, especially during Monday Night Football, when ESPN replays it every commercial break. Sam Craig, a marketing professor at New York University's Stern School of Business, told the associated press.

The ad may be reaching a point known in industry lingo as 'wear out, when an ad campaign so inundates the target market that it begins to backfire.The danger of running the same basic ad over and over again is that as soon as people recognize that, they tune it out

All of the angry feedback couldn't come at a worse time for the Japanese auto manufacturer. Today marked Toyota's first net profit loss in nine years and the company admitted that it's facing an unprecedented financial crisis, with a 68% plunge in net profit 5.6 billion dollars to 550 billion yen. October's sales were also down 23 percent, according to the Associated Press, but Toyota hasn't planned to stop the obnoxious ad.


What do you think of Toyota's 'Saved by Zero' Ad?

By Matt O'Hern at 03:05 PM | Comments (20)

(20) Thoughts on Toyota's "Saved By Zero" Ad Drives Viewers Crazy

I thought I was the only one that couldn't STAND this commercial! Can't quite put my finger on it but to be honest, as soon as I hear it come on I hit mute or change the channel. I didn't even know it was a car commercial, THAT'S how much I hate it, I immediately turn it off. The singer's voice is just annoying.

Comments by Sheila Parry : Thursday, November 06, 2008 at 07:16 PM

I can not believe that there are so many people out there that hate this commercial. I was just telling my wife a week ago that I HATED that commerical. For me it's the jingle. It's not happy or uplifting. There is something very depressing sbout it. It reminds me of death

Comments by Steven : Thursday, November 06, 2008 at 08:07 PM

Wow, hate is such a often used word now days. I personally don't get caught up in an ad enough to "hate" it. A good ad needs two things. It needs to get you attention, good or bad, and you need to remember what is being sold. Unless the ad makes it so you never will buy a Toyota, and it makes people buy Toyota's due to the zero financing, it has accomplished its goal.

Let's try to find really awful things that happen in this world to "hate".

Comments by Norma : Thursday, November 06, 2008 at 11:23 PM

This protest is only a few people in compared to the millions of people who have watched this ad. I could list dozens of ads that are irritating. Perhaps the facebook addicts need a life.

Comments by Kay : Thursday, November 06, 2008 at 11:30 PM

I thought it was just me. I absolutely detest this ad. I was really thinking about shopping for a Toyota Corolla. I'm going to stick with a Buick. Take THAT "saved by zero"

Comments by Lori : Thursday, November 06, 2008 at 11:59 PM

I can't believe there are even news about some college kid starting a facebook page to stop the ad. So what if the sports channel showed the ad numerous times. If you don't like it get a DVR or change the channel. It's not like this is the first time a particular commercial is shown countless times during breaks, let alone everyday for weeks on end. Can't believe how many people whine about some insignificant ad.

Comments by Oh heck : Friday, November 07, 2008 at 12:47 AM

Yes, the word is HATE. I don't hate Toyota, I love the zero % concept, I HATE this commercial! If I don't get to the mute button in time then it's like a brain worm that won't leave my head. And it's a MORBID jingle. I get depressed. THREE WORDS, over and over and over. If I wanted a Toyota, I'd still buy one, but if I had a chance to watch a channel that didn't run that ad, I'd watch it. TV execs need to refuse Toyota's money or lose viewers.

Comments by Connie : Friday, November 07, 2008 at 12:48 AM

i thought it was toad the wet sprocket...

Comments by ashleigh : Friday, November 07, 2008 at 10:43 AM

The lead singer from The Fixx was using an effect typically called chorus in recording circles. The "ad" men (really?) at Toyota read that somewhere and instead had a "chorus" of four annoying goobers sing the song title wayyy out of musical context. Worst ad of 2008.

Comments by CRXPilot : Sunday, November 09, 2008 at 03:49 PM

The problem with this jingle is that they sing it wrong. For you musically inclined people, the interval on the last note is supposed to rise by a minor third and in the commercial it rises by a major second. It just sounds wrong. And as CRXPilot says, it's taken out of context, so that makes it that much worse.

Comments by TBird : Sunday, November 09, 2008 at 04:35 PM

This commercial makes my ears sad.

Comments by norm : Sunday, November 09, 2008 at 11:16 PM

Proud to state I have never owned a Toyota and never will. This commercial confirms my decision was the right one!

Comments by weezie : Monday, November 10, 2008 at 09:04 AM

They dont sing zero the right way. It drives me nuts. My husband and I cringe when it comes on. Im sticking with my Volkswagen. At least they use REAL musicians in their commercials.

Comments by Steffierocker : Friday, November 14, 2008 at 12:12 AM

HAHAHA. Have you seen this? The commercial does much more than annoy the world.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5fTfv7SCi0

Comments by Steve : Friday, November 14, 2008 at 07:54 PM

i hate this commercial. it makes me cringe. i seriously could bash the TV with a hammer every time it comes on. i acutally change the channel. i hate toyota and will never buy one because of the faggots that made this commercial

Comments by brandon schellhorn : Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 07:52 PM

A guy I work with Jay Ludovico is gonna catch a beat down from half the office for putting this jingle in everyone's heads...

Comments by Jerry : Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 12:18 PM

We hate the ad SO MUCH that we turn the channel when it comes on. TV stations ought to pull the ad, because it is obviously driving viewers (besides my family) away from their stations!!!

Comments by sylvia : Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 12:28 PM

Here's the thing: Jingles are a valid, and often extremely effective, method of advertising. But they only work for top-of-mind sort of products and if the jingle actually gets you to remember some kind of relevant information.

I think SBZ clearly fails on these counts, but there are certainly <a href="http://urbzen.com/2008/11/20/five-dollar-footlong-vs-saved-by-zero/">others that succeed</a>.

Comments by StephanieInCA : Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 03:04 PM

Are you people serious? There are millions of things to really hate, or to form groups around, but this ain't one of them. Go do some good in the world and stop complaining about a frickin' television ad.

Comments by nyjogger : Thursday, December 04, 2008 at 12:12 PM

Are you serious? There are millions of things to really hate, or to form groups around, but this ain't one of them. Go do some good in the world and stop complaining about a frickin' facebook group.

Comments by nyrunner : Wednesday, January 14, 2009 at 10:11 PM

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