Ellen Promotes Highlander Hybrid in Live Spot

Ellen on hood

Celebrities are often known for using their star power and media exposure for the greater good. Ellen DeGeneres is one such famous person who is no stranger to getting her socially conscious messages across to millions. This time it wasn’t about pet adoption, but rather about the positive impact of hybrid vehicles on the environment. And she did so by promoting her own personal vehicle, a Toyota Highlander Hybrid, on a live in-show ad. Just before the station break, Ellen began talking about the throwback television programs of yesteryear that would do live product spots for cigarettes. “We thought it would be fun to bring back that old feeling of live commercials—not the cigarettes, the commercials.” Then she headed over to her Highlander Hybrid, which was parked right there in the studio, and began her spiel.

For 30 seconds before an actual commercial break, Ellen spoke about the virtues of her Highlander Hybrid, which include its "hybrid EV mode that allows it to run on its own electric motor." Of course, she effectively infused her brand of humor into the ad with jokes like her camerman being her back-up camera. The idea was to be both informative and entertaining, and who better then Ellen to find that perfect balance.

When the show came back from the station break, Ellen was sprawled out on the hood of her Highlander a la sultry car model. Her overzealous antics were hilarious. But after that kind of over-the-top performance, the hope is that people will still remember the vehicle itself as well as its green impact on motoring . Kim McCullough, Toyota’s corporate manager of marketing communications said, "Ellen’s comedic style and the strong bond she has with her audience made her an ideal choice for our first live commercial.”


  • akw

    why can’t Toyota let their quality speak for itself … kind of counter productive to promote a family vehicle by a family phobic/hostile spokesperson.

  • Max Reid

    H-Highlander -2008 is 500 pounds heaviear than 2007 model.

    Mileage is also lesser. No wonder it sold much lesser in Oct-2007 compared to Oct-2006.

    Toyota has to come out with gas-sippers.

  • elliot

    Family phobic?? I think Ellen is great. If she wants to promote environmental awareness then more power to her.

    That being said, I feel Max’s pain. I was hoping for much better out of the new Highlander. Less weight, less gas usage, less money, less bulk, less everything. I would love to see a hybrid Rav4.

  • SteveC

    Hey AKW,
    Take your “values” and shove them. You so called values people make me sick. Always putting people down because for some reason you think you’re superior. I’ve grown tired of having to be tolerant of you ingnorant haters. Keep your hate out of this forum. If Ellen likes her Highlander more power to her. As far as being family phobic those are just your nice words for saying you’re an ignorant and hateful person. A**hole!

  • Democrat

    Hey Steve,
    Calm down and leave your views out of this. I agree with AKW. But anyway I like how this site is pro Toyota so much. They always praise Toyota and put down GM. The answer to our environmental problems will not be solved using hybrids but by the Gov. making us get out of our cars.

  • ron

    ellen should be promoting the escape hybrid, it is cheaper smaller, (weighs a lot less), and gets better fuel economy. i love my 06 escape hybrid ,no problems and have been getting 32mpg’s

  • Outstanding!

    Hey Democrat! How can you use “Freedom of Speech” as your subject, then tell Steve to “leave his views out of this” while spouting forth your own views? It’s Democrats like you that give the party a bad rap – please become Republican! As for the car – it’s a great idea, but I think Ford’s Escape Hybrid is starting to win over more people. I don’t have one (yet!) but I’ve done oceans of research. All the Ford Escape Hybrid owners love their vehicle and claim that Ford finally got this one right. The lower price, great features, better mileage – it’s making people think about the Highlander Hybrid. Regardless, at least Ellen – who’s always great – is promoting something that benefits the planet (even if Toyota doesn’t have the current model quite right). This is far better than pushing a gas-guzzler or supporting people who want 10 kids or more and don’t understand the concept of over-population.