Top 10 Most Outrageous Prius Ads

Prius-driving murderers. Prude high-school jocks. Terrorist buffoons. Take a wild tour through Prius ads from the past.

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The 2010 Toyota Prius is due out in just a few weeks. But times are tough and gas prices are low. That means Toyota will need to come up with powerful images and messages to outdo these outrageous and sometimes offensive Prius ads—some real and some spoofs.

1Prius Fighting the War on Terror

This unofficial and derogatory ad portrays an Islamic terrorist as violent, profane and stupid. The political satire suggests that driving a fuel-sipping hybrid will reduce our indirect funding of terrorism via the pumps.

Puritanical Prius

This ad, also unofficial, features a randy high-school cheerleader and her football player sweetheart. Unfortunately, their tryst takes place in the ultimate goody-goody car.

Product Placement on Showtime’s Weeds

The benefits of quiet electric driving, and hands-free driving, were promoted in a product placement of the Prius in Weeds, the dark comedy on Showtime. (Warning: This ad, which has profanity, also promotes the stereotype of the African-American urban gangsta.)

4Guzzle-Free Toyota Prius

The Prius driver in this ad is the only sane person in a surreal American landscape of excess.

Goofball Puerto Rican Prius Commercial

In this award-winning Prius ad—part of Toyota Puerto Rico’s “Maneja Confiado” (Drive Confidently) campaign—the fuel gauge needle goes on a world-wide search for the “E” for empty mark. Goofy but fun.

Prius Donkey

In another award-winning ad—more of a short film at two-and-a-half minutes—ad firm Saatchi & Saatchi in Sydney, Australia, sets the story to the 1920s hobo song, “Big Rock Candy Mountain.” A down and out man takes a hapless journey from one outdated mode of transportation to the next.

Space Hero

In a gorgeous futuristic world, an alien robot descends from outer space with a super high-tech brief case that turns into—you guessed it—a flying Toyota Prius. Very cool animation.

And These Print Ads…

“At Least He Drives A Prius”

Mock print ads from New York-based Art director David Krulik dispel any notion that the legions of hybrid owners—now numbering more than one million—are a monolithic group of do-gooders. Or that an individual hybrid driver can be excused for any crime (or act of self-righteousness) simply because he or she drives a vehicle that gets 45 miles to the gallon. Other images in the series depict a Prius driver soliciting a prostitute and a suburban Prius driver in a romantic embrace with his neighbor’s wife.

Prius Murderer

9Killing Animals for Oil

This June 2008 Prius campaign, created by Garnier BBDO, San José, Costa Rica, makes a stark point with the lynching of various dead animals, strung up from an oil well: Draining fuel from the earth is like taking life away. At least, that’s the concept.

Ad: Animals for Oil

Prius Ads That Grow

Rather than printing up a glossy brochure, Toyota gave away thousands of paper cards at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, where the company unveiled the 2010 Prius. Each card had wildflower seeds embedded in them, with instructions on back for planting and watering.

Prius Seed Card

Which one is your favorite?

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  • Bryce

    I liked the product placement in Weeds….very funny

  • jamesoclark

    The Weeds product placement is brilliant.

  • Boom Boom

    The Weeds commentary was even better with the fact that she traded her Range Rover in for the Prius.

    All these ads (both good and bad) demonstrate that Toyota has effective branded the Prius as the symbol of all things hybrid. This isn’t to say that is it the best hybrid out there, just that Toyota is leading the PR war.

  • Dave2

    I really like #6. Evolution of transportation.

  • Daniel3

    The ad for the prius on ” Weeds” was fun as hell! I remember watching it and i also have all the seasons funny show funny ad too! Good way to get drug dealers and gang bangers to buy one! LOL Funny

  • Collin Burnell

    I like the Guzzlers…


    Humanity will be so much better when we get rid of all the humans!


  • EVexpert

    ROFL! =)

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