Kuro’s short rambling about the Toyota Miku TV Ads

So basically I’m just typing whatever come into my mind at this point. I suppose you already heard that Miku Hatsune is in Toyota USA’s newest Corolla TV commercial airing in U.S. Television. If you haven’t, watch the videos below and see Miku in all her glory drive a Corolla.

So basically, Miku Hatsune is the new face of Toyota as of the moment in the U.S. Pretty neat, isn’t it? But these Toyota TV Ads are yielding mixed results.

At one corner, there are those that are happy that Miku Hatsune (and Vocaloid in general) is finally getting the recognition that she deserves, that she now will be seen prominently in American TV because of the new Toyota commercial. At another corner, there are those that are not happy with new Toyota ad because the commercial may and will invite normalfags and hipster anime fans into the Vocaloid fandom which may lead to the inevitable downfall and ruin of the Miku Hatsune (and Vocaloid) fandom. Some even have e-mailed Toyota to stop the TV ads to protect the Vocaloid fandom.

I think both sides present really valid arguments, but what is the real deal with the Toyota Miku TV commercials?

Personally, I think that Toyota reaching out to the nerd market is kind of awkward but it may work, I mean some of the well-off nerds that I know who don’t own automobiles yet are happy with commuting but are thinking of buying a car out of necessity and are thinking of buying a Toyota car because of the Miku commercial, while most would rather stick to spending on real basic needs and their animu collection.

Vocaloid has been steadily gaining fans around the world but still, it isn’t considered mainstream even by the fans themselves. The real implication of the Toyota Miku TV ads is that this is a make or break situation for Vocaloid as it tries to break into mainstream American audience.


9 thoughts on “Kuro’s short rambling about the Toyota Miku TV Ads

  1. Here’s what I think from an American perspective: they can’t show this on national broadcast TV. Old people won’t even know who she is or care. They also pronounced her name wrong and her shrieking probably freaked people old. The U.S. artwork is horrible as well.

    I just think people won’t care so much or have this impression that Japan is weird as usual. I do admit that this collaboration has garnered much attention. However, Toyota must be expecting to sell Corollas. It’s not a favorable car right now in the States.

    Most Vocaloid fans in the U.S. are young and might not be able to afford a car.

    I also have a colleague who told me that Toyota bought ad space on his site to promote the Miku Hatsune campaign and it’s an Asian drama site (http://www.dramafever.com). Clearly, they are targeting young Asians perhaps of a assumption that they’re otaku as well (when NOT EVERY ASIAN in the U.S. is like that).

    • As an Asian outside of the States, I instantly saw the Toyota Miku commercial as an awkward move. I don’t know, but I’m hoping for the best in this move by Toyota.

      • I do agree that it’s awkward. It’s important to generate interest, but unless Toyota gets people to look past any apparent flaws of the Corolla, then this campaign might be for naught.

  2. Kuro, I appreciate your gentle tone and the thoughtful consideration expressed in this posting. Don’t be hesitant about your English language skills, in this example they are far superior to the rude and belligerent ranting we have seen on YouTube and other sites regarding the ads. I too have posted my thoughts on my blog (http://b1bob.wordpress.com/2011/05/09/now-that-toyota-has-brought-miku-hatsune-to-america/) as well in reference to the Westernized rendering of our girl on the American Toyota website. I wish I could be happier about the changes made to market her in the West, but in the end my conclusion is that in order for Miku to become viable as a legitimate icon for the Vocaloid genre she needs to leave the nest, grow up and start acting the part of a virtual diva.

    • Thank you! I’ve seen your post and compared the two images of Miku in your blog for Japanese and American audience. I think it would be safe for me to say that sex still has an underlying strong factor in western marketing.

  3. I don’t really have too much leaning either way, but I wish they’d replace the ugly Miku art on their website. Not a good way to please either supporters of this campaign nor opposing parties.

    • I really don’t know, I think the Miku art on their website is like a “westernization” of Miku. As an avid Vocaloid fan, I really don’t know what’s Toyota up to with their Miku art. I’m just hoping for the best.

  4. Perhaps you’re a bit late to the news, but the reason for this publicity gimmick is that Toyota USA is the main sponsor of Miku Hatsune’s upcoming live concert at the 2011 Anime Expo in Los Angeles on July 2.


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