Nostalgia has always been an important touchstone of successful marketing, used indiscriminately by countless industries in an attempt to appear relatable while tugging at our collective heart-strings. But in reviewing the latest of live auto news headlines, we might have come across one of the most surprising attempts at cross-marketing in recent history.
Enter Toyota. In the case of the widely-publicized resurrection of their infamous Toyota Supra for the 2020 model year, one might have expected a tie-in to the Fast & Furious franchise that made earlier models synonymous with the illicit sex appeal of street racing. And yet, Toyota has opted to dive a bit deeper into the nostalgia pool in order to prove that they’ll be there for you (especially when the rain starts to fall…)
From 1994 to 2004, one of the most popular series on television was NBC’s twenty-something “coming-of-age” situation comedy, ‘FRIENDS’. The ensemble cast, consisting of Courtney Cox, David Schwimmer, Jennifer Anniston, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow and Matt LeBlanc proved so popular that it elevated each of the star’s income from $22,500 per episode, to $1 million per episode. And following, it’s final (and 236th) episode, the series would continue to live on in syndication, ad infinitum (at least to-date…)
While many of the show’s themes and humor would be criticized by #woke millennials as outdated, the series would gain a third life courtesy of streaming giant Netflix. After facing major backlash at the suggestion they would be dropping the series, the service wound up coughing up $100 million to retain the series through 2019.
Turning out attention back to Toyota, people still have yet to stop talking about the Supra’s reveal at the North American International Auto Show. And while Supra enthusiasts seem perfectly satisfied by the finished product, many critics took potshots at the vehicle calling it “over-designed” while suggesting that Toyota was “trying too hard”.
But the automaker seems unhindered by the criticism and is now eager to pair their “over-designed” show-piece that’s “trying too hard” with the perfect celebrity spokesperson. Enter Courtney Cox, best known to fans of FRIENDS as the obsessive-compulsive chef, Monica Gellar.
Cox, 54, has experienced media scrutiny in recent years as a result of various cosmetic procedures. The brunette beauty, who had undergone surgery as well as Botox and filler treatments, was unfairly criticized for her “overdesigned” appearance that made her seem like she was “trying too hard”.
And while Cox recently made the decision to discard some of the treatments responsible for such unfair criticisms, insiders report that Toyota decision-makers felt that she was the perfect spokesperson for the new Supra.
Admittedly, the choice has received some mixed response from the enthusiast community, confused as to why Cox would have beaten out FAST & FURIOUS icon, Michelle Rodriguez…or even former FRIENDS co-star (and TOP GEAR host) Matt LeBlanc. And while there are no clear answers, the rumor mill abounds, going as far as to suggest that the lead designer was obsessed with Courtney Cox and she had inspired the car’s overall aesthetic.
Representatives from Toyota declined to comment on the selection of Cox; but in an attempt to lend some perspective to their decision, the automaker was keen to remind enthusiasts that it “could have been worse”.
The 2020 Supra could have been designed with Matthew Perry in mind…