The importance of marketing cannot be gainsaid as far as safeguarding

the sales, profitability and overall sustainability of a business entity
is concerned. Indeed, it determines the performance of a business entity
especially considering that it aims at endearing the products to
potential customers, popularizing the company, as well as ensuring that
the current consumers are sustained as a loyal customer base for the
business (Pride 13). Needless to say, different commodities necessitate
the utilization of different marketing strategies. Indeed, numerous
marketing strategies have been crafted to cater for different product
categories, as well as targeting different market segments. However, any
form of marketing in the contemporary human society is based on creation
of perception, which underlines the process by which an individual`s
physical sensations like sounds, sights and smell would be chosen,
organized and eventually interpreted thereby allowing for the assignment
of meaning to a stimuli ((Sandhusen 13). The use of stimuli is based on
the recognition of the fact that consumers always form evaluations and
assessments of products on the basis of tastes, colors, sounds, the
“feel”, as well as tastes. On the same note, the communication
between marketers and consumer is done through the creation of a
relationship the services or products being advertised and the
attributes that customers desire (Kotler 24). In essence, effective
marketing would involve an examination of the correspondence between the
objects that are used in marketing and the meaning that is assigned to
them, which could be indexical, literal or even conveyed by the use of a
symbol (Pride 16). Products associations that are created by marketers
usually adopt a unique shape through the creation of new relationships
between consumers and the products being advertised by devising
connections between services or products and their benefits. On the same
note, marketers have increasingly paid attention to the use of models in
recognition of the fact that a large number of behaviors displayed by
individuals are often learned inadvertently or deliberately via example
(Sandhusen 15). This learning technique revolves around the fact that
consumers would love to avert the probability of undergoing tedious
trial and error, not to mention the necessity to avoid dangerous
mistakes (Pride 19). This form of marketing seems quite evident in the
Swagger Wagon advert from Toyota.
Directed by Jody Hill, the advert is a two-minute piece that outlines
domestic bliss alongside parody humor. The filming of the advert
imitates every incredible rap video produced in the contemporary music
industry, with the creative black and white tough that is bound the not
only get the attention of the viewers but also keep their eyes glued to
the video. In addition, the advert features a fictional married couple
that lives in suburbia with their children who evidently exude urban
cool and pride. It is worth noting that such demeanor is different from
what society may have instilled in the minds of a large number of
consumers. On the same note, the actors in the advert could not have
been scripted in a better way. They are white, suburban parents that
have two blond kids. The lady (mom) comes with a hint of cool while the
dad exudes an element of negative coolness and comes off as an
über-geek.
Rachel Drummond and Brian Huskey, who star in the advert as the parents
of the two kids in the honor roll, are busting a move or rhythm of their
own customized lyrics. The mom (Rachel Drummond) can be heard rapping:
“I’m the world’s best nurse when my kids get sick/I make a mean
gel-mold, I perfected my tricks/Back when I used to party as a college
chick/Now I’m cruising to their playdates lookin’ all slick…”,
while the Dad (Brian Huskey) raps that “I roll hard through the streets
and the cul-de-sacs/Proud parent of an honor roll student, Jack/I got a
swing in the front, a tree house in the back/My #1 Dad mug says, Yeah,
Im the Mack.”
As stated earlier, the success of any advert is dependent on the appeal
that it creates in the consumers. Its success may be based on its
utilization of vicarious learning model or observational learning, which
takes place as a function of observation, retention, as well as
replication of novel behavior that others have executed (Sandhusen 35).
Scholars have noted that reinforcement has the capacity to determine the
responses in which an individual partakes, even more than it would
influence the factual acquisition of new responses. In the case of
Toyota, the company has been striving to enhance its image and
reputation since the blow it suffered after it was forced to recall
millions of its vehicles that had defective accelerator pedals. It goes
without saying that the Toyota Sienna was struggling to compete against
other models such as Mazda XC-9 and the 2010 Toyota 4Runner. Indeed,
consumers would question the logic in buying driving an enormous vehicle
that does not have all-wheel drive or even off-road capability, and
comes with three rows of seats. However, the incorporation of an entire
family in the ad underlines the logic of buying this kind of a vehicle
especially for individuals that have families or children. It underlines
the fact that minivans make awesome vehicles for parents and are the
official vehicles for the suburbs, or for suburbanites. Indeed, it is
the image created by the fictional family in the ad that gives the
frumpy vehicle a complete makeover, as its directors introduced a
concept where they would replace the shame that came with the ownership
of a minivan with immense pride. Researchers have underlined the fact
that one of the most effective techniques for finding an audience online
involves complete knowledge of the target audience and making them feel
good about the products (Kotler 54). The ad agency that crafted the ad
accomplished these tasks as it reinforced the notion that any parent
that is driving or looking for a minivan would be considered cool and
hip.
Apart from the convenience or “coolness” that is espoused by the
advert, the advert uses social factors to shape the consumer buying
process. This is especially with regards to roles that a parent is
supposed to play in the family. Roles, in this case, would revolve
around activities and actions that an individual in a certain position
is obligated to carry out on the basis of the expectations pertaining to
the people that surround him or her. The mother in the advert saying
that she is the best nurse when the kids get sick and mentions her
cupcake cooking skills, as well as the fact that she is “better with
money so she handles the bills”. This is complemented by the fact that
girl child informs the mother that she would like to “potty”, to
which the mother stops her part of rapping and goes to help the kid. The
fact that she can nurse her kids while still in the minivan is bound to
appeal to the conventional notions pertaining to parenthood. In this
case, if the minivan can support such conventions, it is only rational
that people would want to buy it. On the same note, her capacity to stop
what she is doing and to help the kid is bound to get the attention of
the audience and underline the flexibility of the mother (and by
extension, that of the car) that does not disrupt or interfere with the
flow of their lives. This should also underline the notion that the car
would go to great lengths to ensure the comfort of families. In
addition, it is in line with the conventions of democracy and gender
equality. The line that the mother is “better with money and so she
handles the bills” is bound to appeal to feminists or rather
contemporary ideas and norms pertaining to the position of women in the
contemporary human society (Kotler 65). This is complemented by the
images of the man in the advert carrying a feeding bottle and playing
with his kids, something that would be unheard of in the traditional
human society.
Like any other advert, the Swagger Wagon advert is bound to elicit some
controversies pertaining to ethical issues. This is especially with
respect to the terms that are used in the rap song in the advert. First,
there is the question as to whether the advert is entirely true. For
instance, the advert was created in an effort to eliminate the negative
reputation that Toyota vehicles have with regard to being faulty, as
well as minivans’ misconception as being mom cars or not being
sufficiently “hip”. In this case, the company used the video to
appeal to the customers’ esteem needs as underlined in the Maslow’s
Hierarchy if Needs, as well as convince the potential customers that the
car has the capacity to avail a certain level of esteem or status that
they have been looking for. In addition, the advert creates the
impression that the vehicle comes with something that other minivans
cannot provide, that it comes with a certain “swagger” that would
enhance the confidence of the driver, something that they would not find
in any other vehicle or minivan. The use of the lyrics of the rap song
in the advert is aimed at showing parents that they should take pride in
being parents and having to change their kids’ diapers or even play
with their children, and that the confidence would be complemented by
the “swagger” with which the car comes. The message and the utility
of the vehicle as espoused in the advert may be somewhat exaggerated and
untrue, crafted with the sole aim of misleading potential customers or
rather shaping their preferences and purchasing behavior. In addition,
the advertisement tactics used in this advert may be less that ethical.
It is evident that the tools such as emotional appeals and subliminal
advertising or even the exploitation of the ignorance of a large number
of people with regards to motor vehicles are legal but less than
ethical.
Storyboard
Scene 1
Sound effects: Beats of the Rap song Swagger Wagon by Sienna Family
Characters: Rachel Drummond
Dialogue: No Dialogue Here
Description of the Action: Rachel takes a relaxed pose
Theme: The black and white of Rachel’s clothing
Scene 2
Sound Effects: song Swagger Wagon by Sienna Family
Characters: Rachel Drummond, Brian Huskey and “their” two kids
Dialogue: This one goes out to all you minivan families out there
Description of the Action: each of the two parents is holding the hands
of a kid as they sway to the music.
Theme: the black and white color of their clothing and that of the car
in the background.
Scene 3
Sound Effects: song Swagger Wagon by Sienna Family
Characters: Brian Huskey
Dialogue: Sienna SE…in the house.
Description of the Action:
Theme: white color of the skin and the dark color of the car
Scene 4
Sound Effects: song Swagger Wagon by Sienna Family
Characters: Brian Huskey
Dialogue: where my kids at?
Description of the Action: Huskey is standing at ease as he raps his
part of the song and sways with the rhythm.
Theme: Black of his clothing and the white background.
Scene 5
Sound Effects: song Swagger Wagon by Sienna Family
Characters: Rachel Drummond
Dialogue: Where my kids at?
Description of the Action: Rachel raises her hands in the air while
dancing to the song.
Theme: Black and white of the clothing, and the grey background.
Scene 6
Sound Effects: swagger wagon rap song by the Sienna Family
Characters: Brian Huskey
Dialogue: Proud parent of an honor roll student, Jack.
Description of the Action: Huskey stands still with a feeding bottle on
his side staring directly at the camera.
Theme: white shirt and feeding bottle alongside a dark background
Scene 7
Sound Effects: swagger wagon rap song by the Sienna Family
Characters: Brian Huskey
Dialogue: I got a swing in the front
Description of the Action: Huskey is dancing to the song with his hands
clenched on his front while he faces his right hand side.
Theme: black clothing and grayish background
Scene 8
Sound effects: Swagger Wagon rap song by Sienna Fmily
Characters: No characters
Dialogue: My #1 Dad mug says, Yeah, Im the Mack.
Description of action: No action
Theme: Black and white cup
Scene 9
Sound effects: Swagger Wagon rap song
Characters: Brian Huskey
Dialogue: Yeah, I’m the Mack.
Description of the action: Huskey raises his hands and gets closer to
the camera with his eyes widely open.
Theme: black and white
Scene 10
Sound effects: Swagger Wagon
Characters: Rachel Drummond
Dialogue: Back when I used to party as a college chick.
Description of the action:
Theme: White clothing and black background
Scene 11
Sound effects: Rap Song “Swagger Wagon
Characters: Brian Huskey
Dialogue: And in this house there’s no mother/father swearin’
Description of the action: Huskey is wagging his finger as he sings
along the lyrics
Theme: Black with a grey background.
Works cited
Sandhusen, Richard. Marketing. Hauppauge, N.Y: Barron`s, 2000. Print.
Kotler, Philip. Marketing Management: A South African Perspective. New
Delhi: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2009. Print.
Pride, William M. Marketing Principles. South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage
Learning, 2011. Print.
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