Debrief: Toyota service: No hurry, take your time!

25 Jun,2013

By Anil Thakraney


Cool ad for Toyota  service. The idea is simple: By the time ma’am gets decked up for the noon show, our man will be able to get his Etios all serviced and ready. The commercial intercuts between the lady doing her make-up while cribbing about the car having been sent for service, and service personnel working fast on the car. Promise: Super-fast service.


Nothing wrong with the treatment, it’s slice of life stuff, and the cribbing lady acts quite naturally (all those of you who are married will identify with this situation). In fact, it’s her acting skill that makes sure you don’t get bored on repeat ad exposure, even though it’s an ordinary commercial. And the single-minded communication ensures the promise is delivered smoothly: No more waiting endlessly for your car to be serviced.


So all very well. But here’s the problem, and it’s for the Etios guys to worry about, not their ad agency: This sort of a promise alarms me. Because my experience with care service stations has always been horrid. The staffers are usually careless, they work in a slip-shod manner, most of the complaints filed by the car owner are ‘forgotten’. I don’t want to worry you much, but I have seen these guys damage cars in a hurry to finish their jobs. Which is why the ‘quick service’ promise frightens me.


I would much rather have a car maker tell me the service will be patient, careful, that their staffers will treat my gaadi like their own car. And I don’t mind if they take their own sweet time, I rather have an upset partner than a car that arrives half-done, or worse, dented. For a change, I am questioning the promise, not the creative.


Rating: (On a scale of 1-5): 2. Dicey strategy. But creative is okay.


Anil Thakraney is a senior journalist and commentator. He is also Editor-at-Large, MxMIndia. The views of the writer are his own. He can be reached via Twitter at @anilthakraney


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