So far in 2012 the most entertaining and least aggressively grating Super Bowl commercials have all come from car companies, and Toyota's "It's Reinvented" Camry commercial is one of the best ones yet. What's most impressive is that it seems to have created a version of the infamous and increasingly played-out Old Spice commercial—serious narration, absurd results, Manliness—that appeals to real human beings.
Here's what works about this ad and doesn't work in those godawful Dr. Pepper For Bros commercials:
- Most obviously, the lady-couch turns into a guy-couch and the guy, rather than massacring all of them with a hunting knife, goes, "Yeah, I get it."
- The baby turning into a time machine is played completely straight, instead of so-straight-it's-Old-Spice.
The extended version adds some Lionel Richie, too, which never hurts.
Look: The Toyota Camry is not a cool car, and it will never be a cool car. Much like a diet soda, it is impossible to convince anybody that they will be cooler because they drive it. But you can make people feel kind of good about driving one, and they appear to have done that here. It doesn't hurt that the 2012 model is much more attractive than the fussy, bulbous last generation.