'Saved by Zero' Makes Viewers into Victims

toyota-saved-by-zero.jpg

"Saved by Zero," a spot for the Toyota Tundra, has run in "seemingly every ad break during NCAA Football, MLB Playoffs and NFL games," claims Rohit Thawani. I suppose that wouldn't be terrible if the ad were good, or even innocuous, but -- get this -- it has a repetitive jingle with an audacious country twang.

You know you're fucked then.

To save his sanity, Rohit created a Facebook Group called "Get Toyota's 'Saved By Zero' commercial off the air before I harm myself." Gotta love a good suicide threat. Adamant text on the description page reads:


"You're telling me that this trash somehow was supported by a creative director?? You're telling me that a powerhouse client said "Wow, this is a great spot! Lets buy 3,000 units and play it all day, everday!"? [sic] You're telling me these people still have jobs?"

That's some serious rage, but I guess it's shared. Over a hundred people have joined so far. (Though if I had to put money on it, I'd say most of them are just respondents to a mass group invite from Rohit.) Toyota probably won't flinch, but I guess Thawani's labor of love leaves us something to ponder: Does your ad make people want to slash their wrists?

by Angela Natividad    Oct-17-08   Click to Comment   
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Commercials, Television   

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Comments



Comments

Huh, I've had similar thoughts about this ad. Not only is the jingle annoying, but it doesn't make sense. How can someone be saved by a zero percent interest rate? Save WITH zero makes sense, but BY?
ugh.

Posted by: Chris on October 17, 2008 12:44 PM

you are not the target...;P (oops, I know, I'm being presumtive here...so to be fair---if you enjoy bass fishing TV ---I'm all wet, otherwise,forgetaboutit).;P ;P

second, this is just the beginning!!!!!

Tundra hopes to be involved with high school football, fishing, snowmobile, and motocross events in addition to their targeting men that work in dirt that live a bit south-west of madison ave.

Posted by: ohohK on October 17, 2008 1:25 PM

Wow. I am gettin' old. Nobody else recognizes the source of that "jingle"? It is the song Saved By Zero by the Fixx from the early eighties. Not very true to the original. Played too much? Be thankful somebody is still spending money on ad placements.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swzK7Q8teSM

Posted by: DiscoStew on October 17, 2008 2:15 PM

I'm there with you Disco Stew. So I'm walking around my house asking myself, "What the hell possesed me to sing Saved by Zero?" I'm thinking it was a bizarre high school flashback. Then I saw the ad--a million times. They earwormed me.

Posted by: hammertime on October 17, 2008 2:27 PM

I thought it was just me. The ad has to DIE DIE DIE.
Can you annoy your customers into purchasing things? I wonder.

Posted by: Buddha Punch on October 17, 2008 3:24 PM

I'm with DiscoStew. When I first heard it, I thought - who would pick an obscure, bad Fixx song for an ad? Not just a bad 80's song - that's so bad it's funny - but just a bad song.

And then, let's make it worse by not licensing the Fixx version, and have a hotel cover band do a version instead. Then let's spend more money on placement than they spent on the Iraq war, and ensure that everyone on earth has seen this spot 435 times.

Please, please, please stop this spot. I'm running to Facebook now, to join Rohit's group.

Posted by: darryl ohrt on October 17, 2008 8:44 PM

Looks like Ogilvy won't be getting any invites to the next Toyota pitch..

Posted by: Kevin Horne on October 19, 2008 2:08 PM

oops my bad - thought it was the Ogilvy PR "Rohit"

ditto comment for Publicis, instead

Posted by: Kevin Horne on October 19, 2008 2:15 PM

Your immaturity surfaces and your credibility dives every time you inject unnecessary profanity into your writings. Please leave it out. You'll get more fans without it.

Posted by: Bob on October 19, 2008 9:02 PM

Bob? Bob? Bob Garfield? Is that you?

Posted by: Steve Hall on October 19, 2008 9:45 PM

I've never had much use for the OMG acronym, but OM-effin-G! I have decided that I hate this commercial with a passion. I haven't hated something this much since Godzilla the movie, starring "I wish it was this actor's day off," Matthew Broderick.

What the hell does "Saved by Zero" even mean?

And, in the final moments of the ad they add insult to injury by repeating the nauseating mantra with the wrong stress on "zero" (i.e. they stress the 'o').

I woke up last night, sweating, crying because I had a nightmare. I was being chased by numbers 1 through 9. Eventually, they caught me and devoured me. That wasn't the scary part. The scary part was that I was nearly saved by zero... saved by zero.

Posted by: Donald Richardson on October 19, 2008 10:32 PM

hey guys - Rohit here
i CANNOT believe the success of the group thus far
nearly 300 members already
and i honestly don't know most of them

Posted by: Rohit Thawani on October 20, 2008 8:11 PM

i HATE THIS COMMERCIAL!!!!!!!HATE IT, HATE IT, HATE IT. Some shoot that crap!!!!!

Posted by: ron on October 20, 2008 8:15 PM

I want to kill myself every time I see this commercial.

http://staticanddistortion.blogspot.com/2008/10/killed-by-zero.html

Posted by: John on October 22, 2008 1:36 AM

We are in the middle of the largest financial crisis that is likely to occur in our lifetime, during an election year while we are at war. I cannot believe anyone can invest any interest positive or negative into a commercial. Are we that insulated from reality? Maybe its time for a gut check here folks.

Posted by: Jim on October 22, 2008 8:04 PM

Thanks Jim!
Thanks Jim!
Thanks Jim!

Posted by: Rohit Thawani on October 22, 2008 8:28 PM

That song is Is 'Saved by Zero' by the Fixx; at least here in California, not country.

Posted by: Blad on October 23, 2008 12:18 AM

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot STAND this STUPID commercial!!!!!!!!!!!!! Everytime I hear it start, I mute the volume or change the channel on the TV so I won't have to listen to it. At this point, I wouldn't take the stupid car if they gave me a brand new one just on principal.

If any Toyota bigwigs are listening . . . will somebody please get this annoying and asinine piece of junk off the air!

Posted by: akailiajade on October 26, 2008 2:59 PM

I have seen this commercial 3 times in the last 10 minutes and so many times throughout the game I'm watching. It makes me want to die.

Posted by: David on October 26, 2008 3:35 PM

What happened to the facebook group? I tried to join to be able to share my feelings of hatred towards Toyota for this spot.

Posted by: Ben Rice on October 26, 2008 3:38 PM

Commercial is very irritating, grammatically incorrect and shows me nothing about the cars that would prompt me to visit a Toyota dealer.

Posted by: Greenkeel on October 26, 2008 3:56 PM

I agree! Possibly the worst commercial ever. The Urlacher Old Spice commercial is a great one though. One good commercial seems to always come with a crappy one.

Posted by: Justin on October 26, 2008 10:38 PM

The worst thing is that (I suppose for copyright reasons) the version for the commercial isn't exactly like the Fixx song.

The Saved by and Zer are right, but then the -o at the end is off by a half step.

It drives me CRAZY that it's not the correct interval...that's the worst part of it...it's like the old Scooby Doo episode where Shaggy is whistling the "Oh my Darlin' Clemintine" but never finishes the song...and repeats it over and over again without finishing the song...(i Imagine again for some sort of copyright issue).

Anway...anyone notice that!!!

Posted by: indy dude on October 30, 2008 12:56 AM

The worst thing is that (I suppose for copyright reasons) the version for the commercial isn't exactly like the Fixx song.

The Saved by and Zer are right, but then the -o at the end is off by a half step.

It drives me CRAZY that it's not the correct interval...that's the worst part of it...it's like the old Scooby Doo episode where Shaggy is whistling the "Oh my Darlin' Clemintine" but never finishes the song...and repeats it over and over again without finishing the song...(i Imagine again for some sort of copyright issue).

Anway...anyone notice that!!!

Posted by: indy dude on October 30, 2008 12:58 AM

Jim,

Yes, all those things you stated are true, but are we supposed to just lay down and die cause the worlds gone to hell in handbasket? Gimme a break, the commercial sucks on many levels (but maybe effective) and its funny and cathartic to bitch about it with others. GL ya wetblanket!

Posted by: Kajagoogoo woulda been worse on November 2, 2008 2:14 AM

For you youngsters that didn't know. Saved By Zero was actually a very popular song by a group called The Fixx in the early 80's. The video was in pretty high rotation on MTV as well so I guess Toyota figured they would try to duplicate their success but this version is so horrible. If you want to hear good Fixx music, I suggest their CD "Reach The Beach."

Posted by: Lord Sheldon on November 3, 2008 9:10 PM

For you youngsters that didn't know. Saved By Zero was actually a very popular song by a group called The Fixx in the early 80's. The video was in pretty high rotation on MTV as well so I guess Toyota figured they would try to duplicate their success but this version is so horrible. If you want to hear good Fixx music, I suggest their CD "Reach The Beach."

Posted by: Lord Sheldon on November 3, 2008 9:10 PM

That Toyota commercial makes me either want to throw something threw our TV [but my husband would then kill me] or wish I was deaf. It truly is driving me nuts! I just bought a new car and it came down to a Rav4 Toyota or a Tucson Hyundai. We bought the Tucson and I told the Toyota sales person if they did not have such a frustratingly insane commerical, maybe he' have had a sale and I meant it!
When does it end?

Posted by: Pat Malloy on November 3, 2008 9:29 PM

That Toyota commercial makes me either want to throw something threw our TV [but my husband would then kill me] or wish I was deaf. It truly is driving me nuts! I just bought a new car and it came down to a Rav4 Toyota or a Tucson Hyundai. We bought the Tucson and I told the Toyota sales person if they did not have such a frustratingly insane commerical, maybe he' have had a sale and I meant it!
When does it end?

Posted by: Pat Malloy on November 3, 2008 9:29 PM

That Toyota commercial makes me either want to throw something threw our TV [but my husband would then kill me] or wish I was deaf. It truly is driving me nuts! I just bought a new car and it came down to a Rav4 Toyota or a Tucson Hyundai. We bought the Tucson and I told the Toyota sales person if they did not have such a frustratingly insane commerical, maybe he' have had a sale and I meant it!
When does it end?

Posted by: Pat Malloy on November 3, 2008 9:30 PM

We're all screwed! According to the fine print during the commercial (which has played in every single commercial break tonight for Monday Night Football) the "Save By Zero" offer has been extended to 12/1/08. Please God let this be the demise of Toyota. Please!

Posted by: Andy on November 3, 2008 10:29 PM

I must submit that I actually look forward to this commercial. I googled it when I got to my computer just so I could hear it again and again and came across these postings. It is like my lame brained dog who can't get enough of a stupid mouse and will sit there for hours looking at the mouse. Somebody save me. Even somebody named zero. P.S. that % sign next to the zero couldn't be any more perfect either.

Posted by: Ozzie on November 3, 2008 11:44 PM

I must submit that I actually look forward to this commercial. I googled it when I got to my computer just so I could hear it again and again and came across these postings. It is like my lame brained dog who can't get enough of a stupid mouse and will sit there for hours looking at the mouse. Somebody save me. Even somebody named zero. P.S. that % sign next to the zero couldn't be any more perfect either.

Posted by: Ozzie on November 3, 2008 11:44 PM

Now, for a limited time only, everyone's favorite commercial looped 19 times - That's approximately 9.5 painful minutes of zero percent financing!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Be5Xy66cwD0

I've got an idea. Harness the power of Saved By Zero; LET'S START OUR OWN CAMPAIGN! Play this loop at your office, school, at a friends house, at your local Best Buy, etc. Then, crank the volume WAY UP! Sure, its a stupid ad for Toyota, but it'll make their ears bleed and they'll hate the commercial too.

You're welcome.

Posted by: Aaron Miller on November 12, 2008 12:45 AM

There's a spoof:

http://www.adrants.com/2008/11/watching-toyotas-saved-by-zero-will.php

Posted by: Steve Hall on November 19, 2008 4:34 PM

God, I thought Five Dollar Footlong was bad, until I saw this. At least I know what $5 Footlong MEANS.

http://urbzen.com/2008/11/20/five-dollar-footlong-vs-saved-by-zero/

Posted by: StephanieInCA on November 20, 2008 12:53 PM

make your ad more distinct.

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