2007 Holiday Cheer Brought To You By Toyota
NEW YORK—In one of the largest marketing coups in recent years, holiday
cheer—the intangible spirit of goodwill towards man, peace on Earth, and
warmth in the hearts of all—will now be sponsored by the Toyota Motor
Corporation, sources reported Tuesday.
The exclusive $30 million deal, which includes promotional tie-ins with
the season's first snowfall and the smell of roasted turkey wafting
gently through a warm and cozy home, was signed earlier this week by
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. executive vice president James Lentz.
"We are very excited to be working with holiday cheer," said Lentz, who
called the look of wonder on a young child's face and the company's new
line of durable trucks a "natural pairing." "From now on, whenever
anyone curls up in front of a crackling fireplace, or takes a moment to
reflect on the importance of family, Toyota will be there."
Added Lentz: "This truly is the most wonderful time of the year."
While many details of the deal are still unclear, Lentz said that the
automotive company has been awarded endorsement rights to all affection
and joy experienced during the month of December. Toyota will also be
the chief sponsor of numerous holiday-related events, such as the
untangling of Christmas lights while listening to Bing Crosby sing old
seasonal classics, and the making or consuming of eggnog.
Additionally, as is specified in the terms of the agreement, all sugar
plum fairies will now be preceded by a 15-second Toyota ad before
dancing inside consumers' heads.
"Landing holiday cheer was huge for us," said Toyota marketing executive
Rebecca Greer, moments after announcing that the 2008 Corolla would be
the official car of sitting down with loved ones and reminiscing about
years past. "We got trapped in a bidding war with General Motors over
the sound of carolers beneath an open window, but it was worth it in the
"After all, yuletide spirit is everywhere you look," Greer added. "Or, I
should say, 'Toyota Presents: Yuletide Spirit' is everywhere you look."
Toyota's marketing campaign has reportedly increased sales figures by 3
percent in the last week alone, and investors are hopeful that the deal
will continue to spread the holiday message of generosity, compassion
for others, superior handling on all luxury 4Runners, good tidings,
antilock brakes on every SUV and year-end truck, and faith in your
"We've enjoyed a steady increase in revenue since becoming a proud
supporter of warming up with a hot cup of cocoa," Toyota promotions
director Kyle Williamson said. "Plus, sponsoring that priceless smile on
your wife's face Christmas morning will only open more potential growth
markets to us."
Toyota is not the first company to make a cross-promotional deal with a
popular indefinable entity, however. In 2002, Johnson & Johnson secured
a partnership with a mother's unconditional love for her child, while
Budweiser paired up with a teenager' s desire to escape feelings of
social anxiety and confusion in 2005.
Despite Toyota's initial success, many market analysts claim that the
car company may have overpaid for its abstract product placement.
"This might have been a smart move in the 1950s, or even the '60s, when
holiday cheer was still alive and well," Car & Driver reporter and
family black sheep Malcolm Jones said. "But these days, Toyota could
have gotten twice the exposure for half the cost had it sponsored
holiday depression and ill will instead. And if they had been willing to
buy out Lean Cuisine frozen meals' stake in post–New Year's resignation
and apathy, the ad tie-ins could have extended well into January."
While only time will tell what effect the marketing subterfuge will
ultimately have on consumers, Toyota's tactics have already angered a
number of Americans.
"The holidays shouldn't be about consumerism—they should be about faith,
and hope, and the simple pleasures in life," Chicago resident Samantha
Bryant said. "Like the all-new Toyota Camry, for instance."