Toyota Ad – Japan

August 23, 2012

39 Responses to “Toyota Ad – Japan”

  1. Adrian Says:

    「常識に尻を向けろ」=”turn your butt to common sense” (i.e. turn your back on common sense)

    …just if anyone was curious.


  2. Who’s going to buy this car? Only men who are open about being attracted to crossdressers. Straight men will be enraged. I was initially offended, but the punch line is actually much more insulting to men than women. I predict much backlash, which will actually count against the ad agency, because it’s unheard of to play this type of joke on men and get away with it. If not for the punch line, there would be no backlash, it’s just the usual T&A, who cares what women think.

    • anon Says:

      “Who’s going to buy this car?”

      Car ads aren’t about convincing people to buy specific cars: it’s about convincing people who already own the brand to think
      they’re smart and to buy again in the future.

      I’d imagine that this ad is more winning with art execs than the general population, but it’s still a good way of reminding Toyota buyers that they can be hip and edgy without getting a foreign car that takes up two parking spots. I’m not sure finding trans hot or not is the point, which kind of avoids “gay panic” imo.

      The average american d00d at this point knows everything that Feministing.com knows about trans. This includes congratulating themselves for knowing the expected things about trans. (Just like people are congratulated for knowing basic, approved “facts” about prostitution that are treated like a secret even though something like 40% of films on Netflix are dedicated to sharing those secrets.)

      This doesn’t mean they want a piece of “ladystick.”

      Not anymore than the average Glee viewer actually does, as the show exploits trans to generate good feelings in a non trans audience. How many of the people who think they’re super smart for finding the token trans to be automatically fabulous, would ACTUALLY pick the trans character in a game of “would you rather.” Not many, I’d imagine. That’s not the point.

      IMO, trans is a great subject for advertisers to exploit in convincing people they’re hip. Gee, can you think of a better way of giving people a warm fuzzy than reminding them they’re NOT radical feminists and INSTEAD hold completely socially approved, patriarchally sanctioned views on gender as innate and inevitable?

      Not that I know anything about Japan compared to any number of women who comment on this blog.

      • doublevez Says:

        Obvious from the first step, in the way he walks, and the eyes. Men cannot escape what their eyes say: “I own the world it is mine. I can do this and whatever I want, and be applauded, honoured excused, because I am a man” And more importantly, they know he’s a man. For all the artifice, the reason trans CAN do what they do, is because men know they are men.

      • doublevez Says:

        Nope. Who buys Toyota? Women with small budgets who want a car that carries the kid and the dog and groceries, her mother and their shopping, that gets her in and out of tiny parking spots near her work so she doesn’t have to walk much downtown, that takes her to Michigan with gear if she puts the seats down, that delivers 40 miles to the gallon, that is hot on the used car market if she wants to sell it. That doesn’t need much service or repair and she can do some herself. Toyota doesn’t miss with cars. They sure did with their ad agency.

  3. Bev Jo Says:

    This is about looking clever and getting attention. More will watch the ad because they’ll hear about it and be curious. Yes, anon, “hip and edgy” sells. Thanks, Adrian, for the info. It’s good to know. I agree, doublevez, about male entitlement.

    Thank you, Gallus, for letting us know how the trans cult sells.

  4. GallusMag Says:

    The first priority in marketing a new product (or a new model auto in this case) is creating brand recognition. Messaging is secondary and literally anything that creates market awareness is “successful” for first wave marketing of a new item. The fact that this advertisement is not only attention-getting but spreading virally (free!) makes it highly successful.

    I like the fact that this ad highlights the fact that majority male sexuality is based on constructed tropes of ritualized submission of bodies presented for the male gaze. And whose bodies are so highly commodified and fetishized and pornified? Female bodies. So dudes watching at home are like OHHHHH YEAHHHHH. Daddy Likes! Let’s see this bitch throw herself across some product for me! And then it turns out they were getting a hard-on for another dude. Because men are sexually aroused by (presumed female) submission rituals. If this ass was some female lumbering efficiently in BVDs for their gaze they would be like “yeah, whatever.” They’d rather have the male ass performing GENDER. Without GENDER it just aint sexy.

    Maybe this is why male transgenders are so confused when their lesbian lifestyle porno fantasies are dashed – even after remarkable investments in cosmetic gender surgeries and cosmetic gender medicine- by women who could give a shit about their fucking GENDER and have zero interest in their “outies” “lady-sticks” “strap-less” “neoclits” or “neovag”.

    “Sexual orientation is based on GENDER! Not what’s between your legs!” they exclaim uselessly. Yeah, for dudes that may well be true bro. Enjoy your porn. And find another dude to play lady with. There ya go.

    What irritates me about the ad is that except for the gender coded diva hair toss at the very end, the bro is permitted- unlike any female- to drop the Jendah and stand assertively, legs firmly on the ground with a stable grounded stance (not off balance or balancing on heels as a female would be), arms crossed, bare chested, casting a male gaze back at the male gazers, as an equal, as a suddenly NOT submission performing human. This transformation from porn object to human would literally not be possible with a female. Even if this dude had massive breast implants he could still perform this object to human transformation. Because= male. For females there is no escape.

    • GallusMag Says:

      Except chopping your tits off and injecting testosterone of course! But even then it’s iffy. Because= female.

    • Ave Says:

      ““outies” “lady-sticks” “strap-less” “neoclits” or “neovag”.”
      “Enlarged clit” and “ladystick/pussystick” are especially ones I always have to roll my eyes at whenever i hear such ridiculous terms. A cock is a cock!


    • “This transformation from porn object to human would literally not be possible with a female”

      This is such a brilliant point!

      I don’t have any added insights here I’m afraid, even though I live in the home of Toyota.

      • Adrian Says:

        Ooh, someone in Japan! I wonder, have you ever read books by 上野千鶴子(Ueno Chizuko)? I’m horribly un-educated but found her books last year (I read a book 「女ぎらい」”onnagirai” (hate of girls)) and it was educational for me I learned some things that I’ve seen on other radical feminist sites and what (and always was thinking “of course!”), she also writes some books critical of capitalism too which is right in my interest.

        I’m always interested in finding similar authors/books too.

        Sometimes I’m made sad reading about student movements from decades ago because it seems that even while some restrictions were tighter people were fighting! but now maybe not so much.

        Of course my adult life is completely in the USA so I can’t speak to it much either. Heck, I barely manage to fit into the “appropriately woman” box here, I can’t imagine moving back. Though I do have friends who have, who found some friendly (software, my industry) companies, but…


      • Hey Adrian,
        Thanks for the book recommendation, no I hadn’t heard of it. This is such a patriarchal society that I spend most of my time trying escape it by living in my head (and online).
        lol
        One good thing about it, however, is that we don’t have to deal with transsexuals invading women’s spaces, and it’s unlikely there will ever be a law allowing them to do so. I’m always surprised when I read the goings on in the west such as the UK passing a law allowing men to change the M to an F on their birth certificate etc…
        Or maybe that will be Japan in 10 years time, who knows.

      • Adrian Says:

        In Japan now you can change your sex marker on your family registry but you have to have proof of sex change surgery first. I have no idea how prevalent it is, though, and suspect it’s not nearly as well known as it might seem to be in the media (like SOOO many other things…)


      • Really! I didn’T know that. Thank you.

    • Christina-Xena Says:

      Actually, as a trained person in the business field (with an MBA) the methodology and message is actually much simpler in this case than commentors assume or are projecting onto this car commercial, which was just to use a person with particular attributes and shown with the product to transfer such attributes to the product in the mind of the observer (i.e. sexy model = sexy car in many ads). In this case using established social gender perceptions based on sex stereotypes,, but with a twist at the end of the video.

      Nothing really new in the general approach, but the main difference is they found a representative/model that could express BOTH desirable attributes in one body/appearance, i.e. something small, sexy and alluring at first glance (an “apparent” woman), but when one takes a closer look it also is strong and self confident (the revealed man/male ). The obvious and key idea is that both can be COMBINED in one product/car since it is shown with a person/model, rather than by long detailed shots of the car. It’s NOT an either this or that typical choice the consumer perceives to have to make between products in the market, or at least since much of the consumer market believes that’s the case whether true or not.

      I think that the main target consumer is the younger segment that is looking for smaller/economical vehicles (plenty of those out there) but at the same time for something sexy yet has some performance/power features (even if they’re not apparent at first glance). And which has something unique/edgy to the car that then can transfer to the buyer of this car model. The target maket is logically the younger segment is more LBGT open-minded and can look past the potential “shock” of the androgynous model and focus on the underlying message of the commercial.

      The fact that this car more edgy and less appealing to other people who might not appreciate the human-model andrognous commercial is perhaps another appeal …it’s a car that’s not for everyone…which helps further make it stand out to a certain segment of the new car consumer, and where many smaller cars seem very similar in style and performance.

      So there is no hidden social agenda with using this male model, or to change social gender norms in this fashion. It’s simply another approach with well established advertising principles without having to directly show (much of the car) or spell out the performance features of the vehicle (only the rear of the car was even shown and nothing about performance). The “image” is the big selling point, and getting the public to see the car (and car company) as different and unique is as important as the exact attributes of the car itself.

      And it’s highly unlikely that using an androgynous model is going to change social values or gender perceptions or norms, or even promote acceptance of transgender anything, although with anti-trans views might tend to see it that way (moreso a negative response if the ad is viewed as an attempt to “reduce the shock value” of someone they assume is transgender …same fear as when gays kiss in public).

      But this commercial is clearly was not about transgender since the model reinforced their maleness at the end, so instead it might be seen as being gay-related based on a stereotype….that gay men dress and act feminine in order to attract men as sex partners …a very heterosexual-assumptive viewpoint about gay men), and which still today flows over onto the transwoman segment of society. No doubt this fear will keep some people (homophobic and transphobic types) car buyers from buying the vehicle, but then those are NOT the target consumer the company is attempting to reach. And the segment that is both isn’t bothered by the andrognous/duel aspect, and LIKES the fact that many if not most other car buyers will find the ad disturbing and not buy it as a plus.

      Car companies aren’t usually interested in changing social values but USING THEM to sell their product …or MORE of their products. The usual idea is to INCREASE gender differentiation in product design in generally very similar products in order to increase sales (from razors to hair products to color-gender divided toys). The opposite was done here ….trying to COMBINE gender attributes (beauty and power) into one product in order to carve out a niche in a large and crowded car marketplace, especially in the foreign countries where small cars are the norm (higher fuel prices) and not the exceptions. So even a niche focused car has a large market in those countries.

      For both the car market and the potential backlash from the right such a commercial probably wouldn’t work very well in the United States, and if done by any of the big three car companies there would likely be pressure to drop the commercial very quickly, both externally and internally.

      And in the end, using androgynous human models only has great appeal (including as fashionwear models) when they are rare, and have certain very convincing and attractive duel gender attributes. The fact such individuals are fairly rare just reinforces the usual sex and gender differences in society …not breaks the wall down between the two sets of norms.

  5. Bev Jo Says:

    You said that so well, Gallus. Brilliant. It’s true. He does not give up a speck of his male privilege. And no woman every truly can obtain it.

  6. Ave Says:

    I don’t know why alot of people are being offended by this ad. I think it’s pretty good, showing a feminine male that doesn’t need to get a boobjob, srs, or any of that stuff

    • GallusMag Says:

      Agree.
      I think a lot of us on this site are broadly critiquing gender roles (“feminine”) especially as they harm females. Not the same as being “offended” by particular individuals that perform such roles.
      It’s also worth noting that this kid is 19 years old. As he matures he will become (like everyone) more mature looking. This seems to be a huge issue for many people, especially genderists who in many cases object to natural maturity (see puberty blockers, plastic surgery, pedomorphisis of transgender).
      I agree with you that people should be free to express themselves any way they want without any problems and without opting for electively disabling cosmetic surgical and hormonal regimes.

      • GallusMag Says:

        Also, the young man should eat a sandwich. Like ten of them. With bacon.

      • Ave Says:

        Very true points GallusMag, especially concerning peoples analysis of of the gender roles and bodypose.
        And lol @ recommending bacon sandwich for model, ’tis so true

  7. Elin Says:

    The ad might be (subtly) aimed at women?

    Many females find it funny if men not doing gender properly enrages males. (I suspect this is one reason for their fondness of male homosexuals too.) Because the agent is a male, it is safe for females: they will not be the victim of the menz’ anger.

    Last year in Holland they had Andrej Pejic doing an advert for a push-up bra (i.e. aimed at females), indeed many men were more or less enraged (despite the fact it could just be seen as a joke because push up bra’s ARE about fakery). Anyway, many females really seemed to enjoy the men’s confusedness.

    (pic: http://www.nrc.nl/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/pejic1.jpg, and also here still male look in the eyes)

  8. Christina-Xena Says:

    All the posters here have totally missed then twisted the reality with this model! HE is GAY …..not TRANS in real life, and he likes being a man and stated on his site that he has no interest to become a woman. He even has a boyfriend in a gay relationship! Instead of being trans he has discovered that he is androgynous enough to fill a particular nitch in the modeling world, just like Andrej Prejic has on the runway.

    So rather than attacking this model for something he’s NOT (trans), he is instead the embodiment of what you radfems advocate …that males don’t have to become trans if they are simply “feminine” in social terms and gay, either by looks or mannerisms, and visa versa for females.

    So you claim that gender roles are too narrow and society is to blame for forcing children and adults to conform to strict social gender roles, yet here you are doing the exact same thing just because this guy/man is willing to use his androgynous appearance (as well as the advertiser) to draw attention to a product. And that includes even if wearing heels and panties, as if those are only acceptable for woman/females.

    And in his personal life he is happy to wear clothes from the woman’s department because he simply likes the way they look and feel, and still have an identity as a man (even if sometimes a stranger takes him for being a woman). He clearly thinks outside the gender boxes, and has no problem being a guy in his identity.

    So he is the alternative YOU PROMOTE to being trans (a gender identity) yet you attacked him as if he was trans and the enemy. He’s just a gay guy who is feminine and using it for his job and gay lifestyle …so what!! Make up your minds radfems!…. stop claiming you want bigger gender boxes or stop attacking those who think OUTSIDE the smaller gender/sex boxes.

    What hypocrites you are! LOL!

    Christina-Xena

    • GallusMag Says:

      The only one missing and twisting reality is YOU. Where do you see anyone claiming this guy is trans, much less ATTACKING him? Jesus, you just pull shit out of your own ass and fling it across my blog don’t you.
      There is not a SINGLE comment speculating on this guy’s “personal jendah identity” and not a SINGLE comment “attacking” him. Holy shit. Can you fucking read??? The answer is no. Why would a man like you bother reading when his IDEA of what women are saying is more important than what women are ACTUALLY saying.

      • Christina-Xena Says:

        Just read through all the above comments and once can easily see all the trans references (“ladystick, finding the token trans, how the trans cult sells,” on and on…blah, blah blahhhhh) ….when in fact there isn’t any reference to being trans in the advertisement or on this guy’s profile. So all that hate-smuck is pure invention by the haters blowing t-smoke here. And heck, when it comes to being androgynous ….you R-F lesbians/dikes take the cake on that aspect (especially from the backside), so stop hating when the sex tables are turned. Eat bacon sandwiches …what for? Are you haters just jealous of his girlish figure? Probably so….LOL!

        BTW, not every woman who disagrees with you haters of
        GLBT are “men” or trans or whatever you invent….so calling me one doesn’t make it so. In fact MOST woman don’t agree with the trash talk you spout off! And I should know that better than you, I spent years helping 10s of thousands of other woman look and feel better about themselves. You losers just attempt to tear other woman, men and trans-people down to make you feel better about your pathetic lives.
        Christina-Xena
        A REAL woman compared to you losers!

      • anon Says:

        Since I guess it’s mostly my comment being called out,

        1. I was using the commercial as a launchpad for the sort of general discussion involving gender that regularly occurs here; I’m assuming that’s why it was posted in the first place. That doesn’t mean anything specific about the individual featured in it. (And while I support his, and everyone else’s, right to dress up however he fucking wants, participating in a commercial like that is a form of speech and all speech can be freely commented upon without it being “hating.”)

        2. WTF is a “girlish” figure? Saying stuff like that uncritically really makes one question whether you know anything about gender that Larry the Cable Guy doesn’t know. Larry, is that you again?

        3. I’m guessing that a lot of people reading here have done a lot of real work in the trenches attempting to make this world a better place. This usually involves doing things that are far from glamorous and they certainly don’t advance your career or even your ego. Sometimes you just have to scrape actual, literal feces off a wall, you know, because you realize that the next person isn’t willing to do it. I often wonder if anything I’ve done has ever really helped anyone on an absolute scale. The fact that you seem to sincerely think what you do is real activism and that it has changed the lives of 10K — like you’re the Creepy Oprah that no one has ever heard of before — is just mind blowing.

  9. SheilaG Says:

    Men just don’t read what’s written, and are unable to comment on the actual discussion here.
    The insightful comment was how the illusion once revealed is able to put the young man back in position. He escapes the objectification once the secret is revealed. Women have no such escape back into male supremacy, and are sex objects from beginning to end.

    That is what is significant about this ad, how advertising treats women and men.

  10. Bev Jo Says:

    I agree completely, Sheila. I am against the whole modeling industry, which kills women by encouraging them to diet to death and which promotes anorexia in girls and women, but still, here again is a man taking a job from what would usually be a woman’s. And he is not challenging gender stereotypes at all, but reinforcing them. As Gallus said, he is still allowed all his male privilege, gaze and stance, which a woman would never be permitted.

    The only reason he is perceived as female at all is that models who have shrunken their bodies to where they appear male have become the norm. He wouldn’t look female at all in most settings.

  11. Mark Says:

    I think your best thing to do is stay the fuck out my mailbox

    151.201.18.221
    108.1.64.41

    [Mark Clendenen creepy psychotic stalker uses multiple ISPs to stalk and harass Lesbians. He hates trans people he hates lesbians. He is a crazy right wing religious nut-job who stalks under multiple ISPs. Here he is:

  12. Mark Says:

    I don’t really give a fuck if he’s gay straight trans ok stay the fuck out my mailbox and as far as I go I would never as long as I love will buy a fucking toyota

    [Psycho Mark Clendenen from the Pittsburgh Pa area bypasses ban by changing IPs. Accuses me psychotically of controlling his “mailbox”.
    Warning for others! Mark Clendenen is a scary stalker dude! Harasses Lesbians! Very creepy dude! This religious straight dude hates trans, hates lesbians! He is psychotic and determined to stalk and harass.
    151.201.18.221

    Mark Clendenen, Monessen, Pa.

  13. Mark Says:

    Look keep fucking with me I rea
    Ly don’t give a fuck yours do or say and believe what yours want

    { Mark Clendenen of Monessen Pa Stalks Lesbians and Gays online. He refuses to stop and uses multiple ISPs to continue stalking Lesbian sites where he has been banned for harassment.

  14. Bev Jo Says:

    Thanks for the warning, Gallus! Why do so many of the trans cult seem so nuts and dangerous? I guess we know why.

  15. Ave Says:

    Hey Gallus, I have a question for you…what are your thoughts concerning names? What I mean is, society genderizes everything including names….the names seem to masculinity/ femininity culture onto an individual. I changed my name legally to Ava in the past (Ave is a variation i use of it for time being). I still do like to use it even though I no longer identify with the transsexual stuff…I don’t like the idea of just taking up my birth name again (perhaps due to an oversensitive perception of being coerced into the regular mens culture with how they are? i might be overreacting), but i also don’t like people thinking i’m transsexual due to having a “females name” (i’m going by male pronouns so it’s not too big of an issue just an annoyance sometimes).
    Perhaps i will legally change it one last time to a neutral one or birthname (although legal name changes are quite a pain). Sorry to put my personal drama on here, it’s just something that’s been on my mind.

  16. Mark Says:

    No one knows or gives a fuck your wannabes transgender things are the way yours are I stayed off this fucking chatline for two weeks now but every time I check my mail boom guess what there’s something about yours wannabe little things keep your fucking things out my mailbox ok

  17. Mark Says:

    I honestly don’t give a fuck what yours want to call yourself call yourself dick all I give a fuck the only ones going to buy these fucking cars are you transgender wannabes and gays


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