Never Happy…Miserable gits at ASA whinge about happy car advert

Posted: 1 November, 2014 in ASA Advert Censor
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toyota yaris advert video A TV ad, a VOD ad and a video seen on the Toyota UK YouTube channel promoted the Toyota Yaris Hybrid.

The ad showed a number of different drivers and passengers singing and dancing along to Locked Out of Heaven by Bruno Mars whilst driving around urban, and often narrow, roads. The ad included shots of the drivers gesturing with their arms, and at one point a female driver appeared to have her eyes closed as she sang along. Half way through the ad on-screen text stated THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DRIVING AND DRIVING HAPPY and near the end a voice-over stated, Fall in love with driving again with the New Yaris Hybrid … .

75 viewers challenged whether ad was irresponsible as it encouraged dangerous driving.

ASA Assessment: Complaints upheld

The ASA considered that while other road users and pedestrians were at a minimum, viewers would believe that the ad was set on real urban roads and reflected real-life driving conditions. We noted that a number of the scenes showed both drivers and passengers listening and singing along to music, while moving and dancing in their seats, and that in a few scenes the driver was shown gesticulating with one arm off the wheel or briefly looking away from the road to interact with a passenger. While we did not consider that to show drivers and passengers enjoying and moving around to music in a car was necessarily irresponsible, we had concerns that some of the drivers were not shown paying due attention to the road, and instead appeared to be easily distracted by their passengers and the music. In particular, we were concerned that most viewers would believe that the woman in the final scene of the ad had her eyes briefly closed while singing along, and therefore was not concentrating on the road, or any obstacles that could appear at a moment’s notice.

Because we considered that some of the featured drivers were not shown paying due attention to the road, we concluded that the ad condoned and encouraged dangerous driving and was therefore irresponsible.

The ads must not appear again in their current form. We told Toyota (GB) plc to ensure their ads did not depict dangerous driving in future.


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