Saturday, August 8, 2009

Prius Ads: Why?

I've seen a few TV ads for the new Prius in the last week, which is a change. There wasn't much advertising for the earlier versions, and certainly no TV commercials. Toyota only made a few of those prior Priuses, and mostly relied on word of mouth to shift them.

Hopefully the move to TV ads show that the new hybrids have been manufactured in sufficient quantities to justify advertising. That would be an encouraging sign that the technology is going mainstream, and that we're well on the way to all-electric cars.

However the ads still seemed to be emphasising the novelty of the Prius, rather than promoting it as a great car to drive. This makes me worry that Toyota is still marketing to a very limited audience of geeky environmentalists (e.g. me), but now even this small market segment needs a big ad campaign.