Toyota embraces beat-downs and wedgies

You have to appreciate the macabre twist Toyota puts on its new “Book of Deviants” Web campaign for the Scion. It’s like someone handed copies of Hellraiser, Jackass and Invasion of the Body Snatchers to the guy from the “Will It Blend?” videos. But does it blend? Like most advergames, it’s fun for a few minutes, and the overall look is slick. You play as a group of devilish tricksters trying to drive boring automatons called “Sheeple” out of your city. It would feel like some kind of anti-gentrification crusade, except that you’re, you know, driving a Scion. The game pulls no punches, with gruesome instructions like “Collect their blood” (which admittedly pales in comparison to Grand Theft Auto: Vice City’s notorious suggestion that you “Kill the Haitians!”). Maybe Toyota hopes any backlash will earn them points with their 18-35 target demographic. As a member of that demo, I know I fight the urge to buy a Scion whenever I hear lines like, “It’s all fun and games until this Sheeple loses his eye, and his other eye, and his flesh.”

—Posted by David Griner