A while back we featured a bizarrely dorky promo video about the Toyota Cressida. There must have been something in the water in Torrance in the early 90s, because Toyota USA headquarters churned out what appears to have been an entire video series of schmaltz. This time it features the Toyota Previa and, naturally, enough cheese to clog your major arteries.
It begins with the surging soundtrack of a JRPG as a boy on his bike checks out the new egg-shaped minivan. Soon, though, we descend into suburbia and the chaste vocalizations of a 1980s sitcom couple played by actors with less chemistry than two blank sheets of lined paper.
The storyline follows a journalist struggling with a review of her new Previa. She spends the whole article waxing poetic about the features and fantasizing about how it makes her feel like a fighter pilot, a chauffeur, and the coolest mom in town. The script, written in the voice of an invading alien masquerading as a an average American attempting the English language, is a litany of awkward insertions about cargo volume surrounded by the icepick-to-the-brain cheeriness and manufactured innocence of cult recruitment film.
Shockingly, this video was actually made, not for sales training or internal marketing folks, but for consumers. After the Truman Show indoctrination bit is done, it actually implores them to drive a Previa themselves at the end. The Previa ended up being a successful minivan in spite of it, but it’s still surprising how much effort went into creating this promo. It isn’t easy being cheesy.