Saved By Zero, Saved By Z......OH SHUT THE F UP!

Thursday, November 06, 2008


We discussed this the other night during Monday Night Football, but the Toyota "Saved By Zero" ads are starting to drive the Sports World crazy. So much so that Esquire and the AP have both taken notice and have stories on the ad. The Associated Press even has an interview with Toyota's marketing spokesman. Via With Leather....

The ads will continue airing nationally through Sunday, Toyota marketing spokesman Joe Tetherow said. After that, dealers will have the option to continue airing the ads on a local level.

Tetherow said the campaign has been a hit with dealers, and whatever the reaction from the public, it has been effective in getting the program's message across. Toyota is even extending the incentive to a 12th vehicle, the subcompact Yaris, he said.

"I think the fact that it's being talked about is good, because the message is out there," Tetherow said. "The dealers like the program, and customers do too."

Tetherow didn't know how much negative feedback the company has received, and he declined to say how much the ad campaign cost. According to the media agency TargetCast tcm, however, a season's worth of advertising on ESPN's Monday Night Football alone likely would have cost Toyota $8 million to $10 million.
What is it with these execs and their commercials. Both the Toyota and Frank TV people seem to think that annoying the hell out of people will make them buy their products. I feel like I'm taking crazy pills, but isn't that the exact opposite of how customer relationships work? Maybe I'm wrong, but this can't be working. Can it?

Gent Bent, Toyota (With Leather)
Save us from 'Saved by Zero,' TV watchers complain (AP)
The Inside Story of "Saved By Zero," the Toyota Commercial That's Keeping You Up at Night (Esquire)

25 Comments:

The song was bad enough when The Fixx did it in the 80s but that version really blows dead bears. How about "We're incredibly f---ing desperate here - just buy a car!"

Mike said...
Nov 6, 2008, 3:34:00 PM  

How about, "This car isn't American so you know it's good".

GMoney said...
Nov 6, 2008, 4:02:00 PM  

Thank goodness I tune out these ads
Or run and take a piss
Now get rid of those puffy-haired knobs
trying to sell me a shitty 'Shroom and Swiss.

Nov 6, 2008, 4:04:00 PM  

Nationally through Sunday? The end can't come soon enough. I see that shit about 15 times a day and it's gotten to the point where I keep the remote in hand so I can can change channels immediately when that comes on. Ugh, it's ringing through my head even as I write this.


From what I've read, these ads are almost exclusively seen during sporting events. Which explains why I see them on ESPN/2/Classic, FSN, CSS, Speed Channel all the time, and ABC/FOX/CBS on the weekends.

It makes my ears bleed.

alex said...
Nov 6, 2008, 4:06:00 PM  

My dog, Zero, looks up every time that thing plays...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ny44it_eDOc

BobsBlitz.com said...
Nov 6, 2008, 4:45:00 PM  

I thought there was going to be video of your dog looking up when it plays. That actually would have been cute/funny. Thanks for wasting my time.

Andrew Morris said...
Nov 6, 2008, 5:22:00 PM  

The whole annoying advertising thing is counter intuitive, but happens from time to time. The most famous examples are the Charmin "Hey Whipple Squeeze this" spots and the Wendy's "Where's the beef?" spots? The ads annoyed the hell out of people, but the sales of Charmin and Wendy's increased a great deal. Sometimes the awareness of a product is what they're really going for.

MarkMc said...
Nov 6, 2008, 5:28:00 PM  

It drives me crazy, these Ads. This one is bad, no doubt, but how about the car Ad featuring a terrible cover of Bowies' Space Oddity...now THAT is bad. It's one thing to feature a tune that's been drilled into our skulls by Corporate Radio...it's, entirely, another to use a shitty cover of said tune.

Monty said...
Nov 6, 2008, 5:33:00 PM  

How about the Volkswagon commercials with Brooke Shields? Not that they're necessarily bad commercials, it just gets kind of tiring after a while. And that's been going on for two months.

Eric said...
Nov 6, 2008, 6:17:00 PM  

@ AA: It doesn't work, at least with me. Thanks to this ad and the countless headaches (and I'm being completely serious here, for once) I will never buy a Toyota as long as I remember this ad.

And wait, you mean to say it's actually going to end??? I'm shocked. Really. I am.

@ Monty: Maybe the fact that Space Oddity is actually a good song (Saved by Zero is a shitty song to begin with) that makes that commercial a little more tolerable.

JFein said...
Nov 6, 2008, 7:16:00 PM  

At least we haven't seen that Chevy commercial with the annoying John Courgar Melloncamp song any more.

"This is ouuuuuuuuur couuuuntry!"

Anonymous said...
Nov 6, 2008, 8:42:00 PM  

Maybe you'd rather be Rickrolled?

Anonymous said...
Nov 6, 2008, 9:58:00 PM  

Yes I would as I actually enjoy that song way more than watching a random guy talk.

Andrew Morris said...
Nov 6, 2008, 10:54:00 PM  

Being Rickrolled is preferrable to about 98% of the commercials on TV today. And speaking of annoying, I don't care how hot Brooke Shields is, if I see that VW commercial one more time, I'm going to shove an icepick into my one good eye.

bruce said...
Nov 6, 2008, 10:59:00 PM  

The worst offender is Geico. I wish that the little green bastard would die already, the stupid cavemen would go away and take the punk kid race car driver with them. I hate this company with a passion due to their obnoxious, everpresent marketing campaign.

Anonymous said...
Nov 7, 2008, 7:09:00 AM  

Watching that ad on a big screen TV makes me dizzy.

Anonymous said...
Nov 7, 2008, 9:43:00 AM  

I just came here to say...


SAAAVED BY ZEEEROOO...


I'd rather hear the goddamn theme from Saved by the Bell than this worthless 80's turd of a song.

It would be okay for Toyota to use this song, if they would use it sparingly. But they can't so that. They have to be stupid, so you literally hear and see the commercial twice in a row, and then possibly after the next non-Toyota (usually Geico, of course) commercial.

Crude said...
Nov 7, 2008, 10:06:00 AM  

I forgot to add that they should have stuck with the Stevie Ray Vaughan music. It was much more appealing.

nobody's_fool said...
Nov 7, 2008, 11:37:00 AM  

F-To the R-to the E-E, to the C-to the R to the E-D-I-T. That one's annoying as well. Additionally, this is the same argument college football uses. (Why have a playoff, people are talking about the BCS...). This of course, like the Toyota ads is stupid. I'm glad I Tivo the NFL games and watch them on Monday.

Brad James said...
Nov 7, 2008, 1:53:00 PM  

You're writing about this and the Ashley Cheating site ad - that's exactly what they want... In NY we had the really annoying Ford Edge ads with people saying "That Jeter, he's got an Edge" for all 162 games. Good times.

Jerry said...
Nov 7, 2008, 2:26:00 PM  

Add Bill Simmons to the list of people piling on... http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/081107&campaign=rsssrch&source=bill_simmons

Morgan Wick said...
Nov 7, 2008, 3:07:00 PM  

learn how to link you charlatan.

JFreak said...
Nov 7, 2008, 7:13:00 PM  

That Toyota ad is even more annoying if you have the Sunday Ticket package. It reminds me of some annoying mattress commercials that appear ad nauseum on the radio in Canada.

I would rather watch the AFLAC duck with Gilbert Gottfried's voice spin around on a hammock and activate the closed captioning. 'AAA-FFF-LLL-AAA-CCC!!!' That never gets old.

BTW, Geico should have buried the cavemen after their stupid TV show first of all was ALLOWED on the air and then CANCELLED a few weeks later. I'll admit it, the gecko would have been a better TV show idea.

Anonymous said...
Nov 7, 2008, 10:04:00 PM  

Anon 11/07/2008 10:04 PM, I agree with you on the cavemen...but the fucking AFLAC duck!

JamesCraven said...
Nov 9, 2008, 4:33:00 AM  

Here's the thing: Jingles are a valid, and often extremely effective, method of advertising. But they only work for top-of-mind sort of products and if the jingle actually gets you to remember some kind of relevant information.

I think SBZ clearly fails on these counts, but there are certainly others that succeed.

virtualredhead said...
Nov 20, 2008, 3:04:00 PM  

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