Every year, automakers look to the Super Bowl in an often vain attempt to put their newest vehicles in front of millions of viewers, spending tens of millions of dollars trying to catch people between bathroom breaks. This year will be no different. Here's one of the entries in our annual Super Bowl Ad Watch:
Car being advertised: 2014 Toyota Highlander
Terry Crews from Fox's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," all buttoned up and proper, takes a drive in his new Toyota Highlander. He comes across a stranded bus all decked out in hippie logos. Stopping too see if he can lend a hand, the Muppets take Crews up on his kind offer for help, and begin loading the Highlander with musical equipment, themselves, and change the radio station from Crews' "boring" music and start playing a "non boring" song themselves. Oh, and the Muppets take the wheel, demoting Crews to the backseat.
Crews can't resist the Muppets allure for long, and rips his shirt off in a spasm of non-boredom that earns a nod from Kermit.
Does it work?
Toyota is going to great lengths to ditch the stigma of dullness most car enthusiasts associate with the brand, while remaining true to its core customers that make appliance-like vehicles such as the Camry one of America's best sellers. It's a fine line to walk, and if we're honest, I'm not sure many are buying it. No doubt Toyota can build quality, high performance cars; it has the acclaimed FR-S sports car under its Scion brand. And at the Detroit auto show a few weeks back, it brought a spectacular concept called the FT-1. While Toyota may indeed begin rolling out more performance cars in the coming years, I don't think many expect its Camrys, Corollas and RAV4s to suddenly be "unborified." If only every new Highlander came with a visit from Animal.