Toyota‘s latest Instagram ad seems to be spinning its wheels. The ad has received a number of comments from users questioning its relevancy and frequency, comments like this one from anthonygeorgis:

Dear Toyota social media people. This is [an] incredibly boring advertisement. I know there’s some “clever” animation in play, but I gotta say it’s a total yawn fest. Plus, I’ve seen this once already. People on Instagram already hate most ads, so I’ve got to question your clinging to the “reach and frequency” maxim when it comes to social [media]. Please come up with some [clever], human and engaging content. The truck on the volcano in Chile was good for about 4 posts, but it could have been soooo much better with a human storytelling angle, which would have engaged me much more than photos of a truck clogging up my feed. I kept asking “where are the people driving this truck, I want to know their story”. Please try harder. Thank you.

One could argue that with more than 16,000 likes, the ad isn’t a complete failure. However, the ad largely ignores the spirit and context of the Instagram community, and I can’t help but wonder if a more realistic image would’ve better complemented both the Instagram audience and Toyota’s #LetsGoPlaces campaign.

In the context of Instagram, perhaps the biggest problem with the photo is that it’s not even a real photo; it’s obviously a composite image built in Photoshop from disparate elements. The result is a generic image that fails to support the invitation to #LetsGoPlaces because it doesn’t actually show a place than anyone can go.

No one looks at the image and imagines themselves there because there is no there there.

Photos via Bill.


This post also appears on Word of Mouse.