PR Connections – Toyota Stories

Toyota has started a response campaign to their PR disaster. But should they pay more attention to these commercials or focus on fixing the problems their vehicles are facing?

As a part of PR crisis management techniques, Toyota has come up with marketing campaign showing “real” Toyota owners defending the auto company and telling tales of their allegiance to the company. As most of you know, Toyota came under fire after calling for a massive recall of their vehicles for having acceleration problems. Now, they have released a new advertising campaign, called “Toyota Stories.” These testimonials can be seen on television, heard on the radio and viewed on their youtube channel. What is concerning about this, is the validity of the testimonials. Are these actual Toyota owners or are they paid actors, paid off to tell how much they love all Toyota vehicles and how their “next vehicle will be a Toyota?” On their Youtube channel, there is an expansive list of comments, mostly critical of this new campaign. Some comments, according to Youtube user autoresearcher, have been removed by Toyota because of the critical and negative nature of the comments.

This brings up some interesting questions:

  • Is this type of marketing campaign ethical?
  • Should Toyota have the right to remove comments and if so, is that ethical?
  • Should Toyota focus more on correcting the problem then spreading these pleasant, optimistic testimonial commercials?

Here is one of the commercials in question. What are your opinions on it?

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1 Comment

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One response to “PR Connections – Toyota Stories

  1. marielorelei

    After seeing a few of these commercial from “real Toyota owners defending their car company that they are ever so loyal to, I also wondered whether or not these were paid actors. I doubt we’ll ever find out unless a few people diligently try to track down those people that are featured in the commercials. It would be nice if a news channel would pick up the story and run with it since inquiring minds would like to know the answer to that question.

    I definitely think that it’s ethical for Toyota to remove the negative comments that have been posted in response to their pro Toyota videos. It is a company’s responsibility to protect their image. If someone wants to post negative comments, then they should do it from the position of their own Youtube channel. Just as an individual would try to protect themselves from negative things, a company has the right to do the same.

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