Boomer or Bust? Toyota Rolls Out a New Venza Campaign

Toyota Venza has finally decided to put all its advertising eggs in one basket—the Boomer generation. (Buick might want to take note).

When Venza first came out, Toyota tried to market the vehicle to both younger and older audiences. But Toyota already has Scion to handle the youngest audience, and the Venza is a bit stationwagony. It’s nice to see a company fix a mistake after faltering.

Now, this new campaign, from Saatchi & Saatchi LA, drives a straighter road, flipping the relationship between Gen Y and their Boomer parents. This snippet from Toyota’s YouTube channel sums up the general theme:

It’s the middle of the day — do you know where your boomer parents are? When they have a Toyota Venza, boomers are anywhere but home. Visit to learn how Venza helps you keep on rolling.

Keep on Rolling is the Venza tagline. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it when I saw the print ad (below). But my interest was piqued to look further into this campaign.

Copy of Venza print ad

When I first saw the ad, I thought two things:

  1. Great copy. “Four out of five Venza owners were too busy to answer our survey.” Plays off of other types of ads and is driven home some by the photo below it.
  2. Who is this ad targeting? The mountain bikes and the tire rims suggest younger. But the still clean, shiny white car suggests something else.

Then I noticed the TV ads, with a little prompting from a friend who asked me if I had seen them and thought they would make a good topic for my blog. (Thanks, Nancy!)

The TV commercials clarify who the target audience is pretty quickly, and the Keep on Rolling tagline makes much more sense. Here’s the first one I saw, called “Social Network”:

All of the Venza commercials take this same approach—a slyly funny poke at stereotypes younger generations and advertisers have of the older Boomer generation.

Toyota is smartly going after a generation that feels left out of most brands’ advertising. The huge positive here is that not only is Toyota advertising to Boomers, but they are showing this older population in a very positive light.

Smart move, statistically. Numbering more than 79 million, Boomers are the largest group of consumers, and they are much more active than many advertisers seem to think.

The best statistic of all? Consumers 50 and older spent more on cars last year as compared with those under age 50. (Source)

The biggest mistake I see Toyota making with this is something I complimented Jeep for doing well in its Cherokee ads—reusing content from one commercial to another.

Maybe it’s the people in Toyota’s ads that make the content reuse too obvious. I know my first response to seeing this second ad (below) was “Hey, those are the same people and that’s the same footage…lame.”

What do you think? Am I being too harsh?

You can find all the Venza commercials on Toyota’s YouTube channel or you can view them below. Check them out and let me know what you think.

Will the campaign work? Could they have done something even better?

Notice the Cross Country and Messages commercials share footage too. I don’t think it works well in these either. But I do still think this is a fresh and solid campaign that’s a step in the right direction.

Cross Country





  1. AutoConversion · July 19, 2011

    Just started seeing some of these TV ads this week. I think they are great. They really caught my eye. As one who does blogging and social media for car dealers, they really said a lot.

    I have no qualms with using the same actors across different ads. It’s not like we are supposed to think these are real stories and situations.

    • ctmarcom · July 19, 2011

      They have a very positive feel to them, don’t they? And I think it says a lot that you noticed them and liked them, since you are in the biz. Interesting that you’re okay with the repurposing of footage. I’m guessing reaction could be around 50-50 on that. I’m not completely turned off by it, and I have no problem with them using the same people, I just wished they used different footage. Of course, I could be biased because I thought Jeep reused its footage brilliantly.

      Thanks for your comment!

  2. Stephanie Eubanks · July 27, 2011

    These ads are very funny, Coreen! Clever play on stereotypes about each age group.

  3. ctmarcom · July 27, 2011

    I thought so too, Stephanie. “Clever” is the perfect word to describe these ads. They don’t over do it, which is important. And it’s nice to see older age groups represented in such a positive way.

  4. Pingback: Marketeers mikken steeds meer direct op boomers, mét resultaat | Route 50Plus

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