Product placement is a big deal on television today and many auto makers would love to get the placement that Toyota has had over the years. A variety of different models have made their way on to the small screen, with the biggest winner being the Toyota Prius. With the advent and popularity with digital video recording allowing commercials to be recorded and skipped, product placement is even more important than ever to generate revenue for television programming. Here are some of the popular Toyotas that have had cameo appearances on popular television shows:
Ever since the hybrid debuted, it has had many television roles. The hot hybrid has had starring roles since it debuted in 2000. Some of the highlights include stints on shows like Alias, My Name is Earl, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Six Feet Under, Gilmore Girls, The Sarah Silverman Show, Glee, Scrubs, The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, and more. The car also seems to appear in the background in many other television shows.
In the Gilmore Girls, Rory gets a Prius as a graduation present, cementing the fact that this is a great car for young drivers, especially as it is placed next to a Corvette and other sporty cars.
The Prius played a recurring role on Curb Your Enthusiasm as Larry David frequently was seen driving his little Prius around town.
It even turns out that vampires love to drive the eco-friendly Toyota Prius. The car has appeared in The Vampire Diaries when Bonnie Bennett drives around in her blue one.
In the show Psych, the main character, Gus, drove a Toyota Echo Hatchback. This was odd for a show set in the United States, because the Echo Hatchback was only available for sale in Canada.
Many Different Toyota Models
The popular television show, Bones, has taken a large amount of flak from online bloggers about the constant references to Toyotas on the show. Many bloggers keep track of the times that characters actually give mini advertisements for the car line, whether they talk about the navigation system or the great gas mileage a certain model gets. It can be fun to keep a tally of Toyota talk on Bones or on any other show that has obvious product placement. This show has managed to include a Sequoia, Tundra, Highlander, Sienna, RAV-4, Matrix, Corolla, and Prius in the show…just to name a few.
You know that a car has hit the big time when it becomes a cartoon version of itself. Many of the popular cartoons have had a Toyota or two drawn into the shows. Cartoons like The Simpsons, South Park, Futurama, and even the Looney Toons have had Toyota models added into the background or as major players on a particular episode. Here are few of the episodes and models:
A 1995 Camry made a cameo alongside Principal Skinner and while being pushed by Otto while driving the school bus:
South Park takes a no-holds-barred approach to mocking the satisfaction that Prius drivers have with their eco-friendly cars on the episode, “Smug Alert,” when Gerald buys a Toyonda Pious:
Toyota Sienna on Modern Family
The sitcom, Modern Family, has had seamless Toyota product placement. There have been episodes where the Toyota Sienna minivan has been worked flawlessly into the show. Like many other television shows, the Prius also plays a big role, too.
Two and a Half Men
This popular sitcom has featured a few different Toyota models over the years. One of them was a Toyota Tercel.
The Prius also has had a few spots on this show. In one episode, a Prius crashes through a wall and in another it is the lone car in the parking lot.
This is another show in which several Toyota models have been featured in many different episodes. Again, the Prius has been featured the most. But, here are a few others:
This popular action series from the early 1990s had many characters driving a variety of Toyota cars on the small screen. One commonly seen model was the 1988 Land Cruiser that Sydney drove in many car chases, only to be replaced by a more fuel-efficient Prius in later years.
Veronica Mars and the Toyota Supra
Funniest Product Placement: Fairly Odd Parents.
In the Fairly Odd Parents episode called, The Beginning of Everything, characters are into racing. The show mocks the video game, Need for Speed Most Wanted. One of the characters, named Veronica, drives a Toyota Supra (maybe in homage to Veronica Mars) and races against the other characters.