Toyota: "Moving Forward"... Indeed

Too little, too late?

Toyota has launched a corporate ad in response to its ongoing quality crisis.

The spot features images of hardworking assembly line workers, backed by an inspirational soundtrack. The mea-culpa voiceover talks about Toyota getting back to what's really important.

Does this ad work for you?

It doesn't for us.

It comes off as a little too slick and much too expensive as a way of communicating with current and potential customers about what's going on.

Because beyond the performance issue itself, the other important repair work necessary is fixing the broken brand.

The well-publicized problem with uncontrollable acceleration was first thought by the company to be an issue with the floor mats.

Pedal to the Metal
But when the focus shifted to faulty accelerator pedals months later, Toyota again offered another solution.

When Woz talks, people should listen...
We certainly hope that this new workaround corrects the problem.

But again, with respect to repairing the brand, this video clip of Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak talking about his Toyota Prius, is more than a little disturbing.

Prius recall
After ignoring loyal-customer Steve Wozniak, Toyota today has announced a Prius recall of 300,000 vehicles. Whether or not this current action is software-related is not yet known but problems with Prius software were reported as far back as 2005.

Toyota: Moving Forward
Repairing mechanical problems is hard enough, but Toyota has been slow to reassure customers and dealers that they are serious about getting to the bottom of the issue.

Like two other major brands in crisis lately -- Tiger Woods, Inc. and NBC -- Toyota has been silent when it was time to speak and less-than-specific when statements have been made.

At any rate, it may be a good time for Toyota to look for a new tagline. "Moving Forward" has a very bad vibe right about now.