CC Commercial: Toyota Mocks the Special-Needs Kid

(originally published 9 Feb 2017)

While there’s plenty of room at the rarefied ultraluxury/hypercar top for a practically infinite number of brands, the mass-market motor trade is considerably more cutthroat. And in the mid-late 1970s, Japanese automakers didn’t hesitate to spike the ball when they could, even if it involved some ballistic barrelfishing. What’s the worst letter grade, the one below “D”? Promptly after their release, the aptly-designated “F”-body Dodge Asspain and Plymouth Volawfúl revealed themselves as such. Those cars began falling apart and rusting before they reached the end of the assembly line; they quickly became infamous for pathetic quality and unreliability, and fast became the most-recalled car in the history of the US auto market up to that time.

So today’s feature is a quartet of ads all extolling the high quality of a Toyota by dint of comparison to the Volaré. Unfair? Rude? No, I think not. Opportunistic, really; they were just speaking the truth. (Not many years later, Lee Iacocca shamelessly copycatted the slogan you can hear at about 0:10 in all four films)