in a fight you must win, says a Scion ad.
Toyota-owned car brand Scion has unveiled a new commercial for their latest model. In an urban setting, they equate driving with a boxing match where the car is dubbed “King” of the road. Unfortunately, Scion includes a scene with people riding bicycles and refers to them as “obstacles” and then shows the cars zoom by them dangerously — all in an effort to “roll on to victory with the path of least resistance.”
The commercial begins with the ringing of a bell, then a light turns green and the “fight” begins. “When muscular physique meets finesse and precision, the result’s not a close fight; it’s a unanimous decision,” says the narrator. And then, as a group of men riding bicycles turns in front of the car driver (which is of course on traffic-free downtown streets), the narrator booms, “When challenged by obstacles it avoids them with ease.” And the end of the commercial goes like this, “… So roll on to victory with the path of least resistance, the new 2014 scion tc is made to go the distance.”
I can only assume that no one who works at Scion or the company they hired to make this ad has ever been involved in a collision while riding their bike and/or known someone who was seriously hurt or killed on our roads? This type of ad — and it comes from a long line of ads from automakers — is a big reason why tens of thousands of people die each year on the roads in America. Our culture of dangerous driving is perpetuated and funded by the auto industry.
At least there are some commenters on YouTube who are expressing their disappointment. One person writes: “Does Toyota not realize how many cyclists are killed each year by drivers who consider us to be “obstacles.” This is not at all ok. I’ve been a loyal Toyota customer for years, but I’ll be rethinking my next car purchase. This is not an empty threat. I’m very upset about this.”
Watch the full ad below…