Oakland Toyota Dealership’s new commercial taking a stand for marriage equality

by sanjosebarstool

NBC Bay Area – A Bay Area car dealership is standing up for marriage equality in a mainstream television ad.

Some are calling the ad from a Toyota dealership in Oakland the first of its kind. The ad begins with a woman on the phone talking to her spouse.

The woman is in a driveway apologizing about a decision she made to buy a new car. The commercial then reveals her spouse is a woman.

Toyota of Oakland General Sales Manager Irina Ellis said she is proud of the ad, which started airing on May 1.

“We didn’t expect active feedback,” Ellis said. “It’s amazing. We didn’t expect all the emails and phone calls coming into the dealership.” 

The dealership has received about a hundred emails — mostly positive and a few negative — in response to the ad.

Stuart Gaffney and John Lewis, who are leaders in Marriage Equality USA, remember when a national furniture ad featuring a gay couple was pulled in 1994 when someone threatened violence.

The Toyota ad shows America has become more tolerant toward same-sex couples, Gaffney and Lewis said.

“That’s why we are seeing majority support nationwide for freedom to marry,” Gaffney said. “People realize we are part of every community part of every family. Business support is a part of that change.”

Good for Toyota of Oakland, a dealership I will never purchase from let alone drive by purely because of where it is. Surprisingly this is the first commercial of it’s kind in the Bay Area tapping into the undiscovered market of professional lesbian couples buying cars together. Figured Subaru would have caught on earlier. Only qualm I have with the advertisement is that their location shot is horrible. What is that, a new condo? Professional gal pals don’t live in condos, divorced dad’s and young people live in condos. Second, they didn’t convince me that they were a couple at all. Maybe a couple girls that made out with each other in college, sure, but a married couple? No way. Third, based on the way the one in the car talked, all organized and what not, I figured she would be the lawyer. Nobody talks that way and isn’t a lawyer. Fourth, they’re glamorizing the lesbian power couple and sure maybe that’s what they do in every commercial for any product, but I would have loved to see Magic School Bus’ Ms. Frizzle or Peppermint Patty come running out the door. Finally, no way this ad works with Ford or Chevy…that’s why they haven’t gotten any complaints is because they wisely are catering to a more accepting demo.

But bravo, Toyota. Let freedom reign.