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58Bonne's 1958 Bonneville

2019 June
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Car and Driver: “Heck on Wheels!” Toyota Prius Super Bowl Ad Celebrates Blandness with Weirdness [Video]

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Toyota Prius Super Bowl 50 ad

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Toyota’s Prius has never been particularly exciting, but the car has been given an injection of chutzpah in its latest generation in the form of bolder—and questionable—styling. Odd looks aside, the Prius’s game hasn’t changed much, it still being the go-to for those who still care about high fuel economy in a gas-powered vehicle and, well, little else. Toyota, to its credit, decided to play on the Prius’s largely inoffensive theme for its Super Bowl 50 ad dubbed “Heck on Wheels.” We like self-deprecation, so we like the commercial.

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The entire 90-second ad—yep, that cost mega-dollars in airtime alone—features an average-looking guy rockin’ out to a made-up hair-metal-esque song “Heck on Wheels,” which is filled with tongue-in-cheek references to the Prius’s ordinariness. Lines like “they never thought a Prius could feel so bad-ass” and “it corners like a boomerang” (as the Prius fully and improbably drifts through a corner) feel like stretches of the truth, but funny stretches nonetheless. More poignant, at least for consumers, are mentions of the Prius’s ability to go “a bunch of freakin’ miles on a little gas” and its invisibility to cops. Oh, and there’s even a keytar-playing office worker, singing ducks, and a cyborg cat. Because why not.

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According to Toyota, the ad kicks off a new #GoPriusGo ad campaign. Or maybe it’s a Heck on Wheels ad campaign. Either way, there’s a new Prius and Toyota wants you to think it’s cooler than any Prius before—and to try not to think about how cheap gas is right now.

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