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Toyota Tundra - Gnome

Company: Toyota Motor Corp.
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Brand: Toyota Tundra
Ad Title: Gnome
Business Category: Automotive
Media Outlets: Print
Country: United States
Region: North America
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising
Year: 2001
Target: Mainstream
Ad Spotter: Trevor Fenton
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A note accompanying a stern looking gnome (who appears in several of the campaign's ads) reads: "If power is an aphrodisiac, don't turn your back on Vic at the lumberyard."

The implication to the text appears to be akin to the old homophobic saying among men, "Don't drop the soap in the showers" -- that Vic might attack another man from behind sexually. Or maybe it just means that Vic will steal the truck, but the double meaning seems intentionally open.

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Michael Spencer , Seattle
I agree that this is definitely a negative treatment.

Buckybear ,
This ad is extremely bizarre to me, since I can't see what the little buggersome gnome has to do with the car. What do the other ads say about Vic? Are they all about his sex life? At any rate, I can't agree that it's very negative. I don't consider it negative when gay men are presented as masculine, powerful and threatening. I like it. I consider it homophobic when gay men are presented as harmless little laughable pathetic wimps, which is how a lot of gay men seem to see themselves.

Ric Helton , Atlanta
I humbly submit that the reference in the ad means that "Vic" might be tempted to "run off" with the truck -- it is sexy, and if you don't mind your investment someone else might. (The gnome is a common theme in their current campaign, dumb as it is....)

Buddy , Kitchener, Canada
Of course this ad is homophobic. Implication is clear: if a gay guy is horned-up and a bum is presented for the offering, he'll jump all over him. Homophobes present gay men as a threat all the time -- it's one of their most effective vehicles (pardon the pun) for promoting hatred, and this is NOT a compliment!

Alex , Cape Cod
You guys are so over analyzing. The stereotype they are portraying is the macho straight guy crap. He wants the truck, not the man. He said turn around, not bend over. And look at that troll -- if he took the test at straightingacting.com, he would be a "0." I think we have better things to worry about like Jane Swift trying to ban gay marriages.

Max Shultz , Antioch, CA
I have mixed feelings about this ad. It implies that Vic is a gay man who will force sodomy on any man who turns his back. The only thing positive about this ad is that Vic is a strong, virile man who they imply is gay. Gay males are usually depicted as being weak. However the ad is mostly negative. It's implying that being "sodomized" is painful and degrading. This stereotype seems to be a cause of homophobia. I believe if people were educated on "sodomy", and know that being "sodomized" can be painless, they would have more respect for gay males. Such an education would also be of great help to gay males who know not of their potential to be "sodomized" painlessly.

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