LOS ANGELES -- It has been 45 years since The Who's Roger Daltrey belted out that infamous line. And it seems a little curious to see Rockin' Roger still selling adolescent rebellion when he is a grandfather 10 times over.
But maybe that's the vein of delicious irony that Toyota was mining when it created its “Swagger Wagon” viral advertising campaign for the Sienna minivan.
Buying a minivan is a capitulatory purchase. It is throwing in the baby wipes at adolescent behavior, a final admission of parental responsibility. Face it, you can't look cool in a crumb-cruncher collector.
Perhaps that's why Nissan tried to make the Quest's styling something more than it needed to be, and marketed it to “sexy Moms.” Or why Dodge is saying anything but “minivan” in its latest spy-caper campaign for the Grand Caravan.
And yet, Toyota is embracing its inner minivan wholeheartedly, with a juice box full of whimsy.
Shot in stark black-and-white, a 30-something couple, missing some hair but adding some el-bees, deliver slick and funny rap couplets about their too-cool-for-Montessori minivan, backed by a chillin' backbeat Jay-Z would be proud to represent. They got pride in their ride, all right.
The 2½-minute music video is just the beginning. The Sienna's YouTube site has a side-splitting series of mock-interviews with the too-full-of-themselves parents.
My wife and I are DINKs, so we wondered if our laughter was perhaps laced with a smidge of Schadenfreude. After all, we have time to create poulets frits avec les champignons marinés from scratch, whereas most young parents nuke a box of chicken fingers and call it a night.
So I sent the Sienna link to three of our best mom-friends, who howled in commiseration. Score.
Lastly, being culturally sensitive, I considered whether Toyota was offensively mocking or co-opting rap culture. I trolled blackandmarriedwithkids.com to look for outrage. Instead I found lots of LOL. Score again.
It looks like Toyota has a viral hit on its hands. If it can convert 10 percent of the 1.8 million views the site has received in the few weeks it has been online, it would be a record sales year for the minivan.
Check it out, all you motherfathers: www.youtube.com/sienna