Toyota can do better than to mimic Packard

Jack Teahen is senior editor of Automotive News.
I wish Toyota would stop.

I refer to the ad that urges the public to “Ask someone you know who drives one.” It's a direct echo of the immortal Packard theme, “Ask the man who owns one,” which put the Packard automobile on the map.

Packard, which first saw the light of day in 1899, was the nation's best-selling luxury car from 1924 to 1949.

I criticized Toyota's twist on Packard's theme in a column a year ago last March. But Toyota continues to use it; I continue to be ticked off, and when I'm ticked off, I yell.

With all its money and with all its talent, both in-house and in-ad-agency, I expect something better from Toyota.

Packard's “Ask the man who owns one” is one of the all-time great ad lines. It ranks with “Watch the Fords go by” and Dinah Shore's “See the U.S.A. in your Chevrolet.”

Let it rest, Toyota. Fortunately, others have resisted ads exhorting “Watch the Hondas go by” or “See the U.S.A. in your Nissan A” (for Altima).