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Espionage, high fashion—and a Camry


June 22, 2008/12.59

Toyota Camry ad on Lucire website

If you ever needed proof that cars are fashion items today, look no further than this site. Depending on where you are, we’ve been informed there are ads for the Toyota Camry (tying in with a campaign called If Looks Could Kill, above) and Volvo (S80, C30 and XC90 models) running on this site.
   Toyota, perhaps most interestingly, seems to dominate the celebrity world. The Prius is the automatic car of choice for those who want to appear environmentally friendly (it has a higher pro?le than its Honda Civic Hybrid rival, simply because it looks unusual), while cars such as the Camry bene?t from product placement in ?lms and TV programmes—we can think of Top Gear (the Polar expedition episode), Spooks and even something low-key such as New Zealand’s Police Ten-Seven. We even spotted a Camry police car in the German show Alarm für Cobra 11—even though such a choice of car would be unlikely for the Polizei.
   The company does have a few skeletons in the closet, but it would argue that every company does; and its models might not set the world on ?re, but then neither did many of Ford’s when it dominated the airwaves. It’s ironical that Ford makes a very competitive range in Europe that is hardly seen in programmes these days—at a time when its brand could use the boost.
   As a car buff, I can’t help noticing this change in the Zeitgeist—and how, at the moment, the rise of Toyota is set to continue, provided nothing drastic happens.

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Filed by Jack Yan

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