The 2011 Toyota Corolla Marks Miku’s US Debut (Updated)

Image Source: Toyota USA

It was announced yesterday that Toyota and Crypton Future Media are working together to use Hatsune Miku to promote the 2011 Toyota Corolla in the US. More after the break.

Update: More info on the channels it’s being aired on, news articles that mentioned them, the Asian languages versions, making-of pictures, as well as the new poster!

16s CM Version

Full Version

The car has a estimated 28 miles to the gallon and be at a starting price of $15,600 USD. Optional features include a XM satellite radio, Ipod connectivity, six speakers, MP3 and WMA compatible CD player and wireless phone and music streaming via Bluetooth technology. What will this do for Vocaloid? Only time will tell. Be sure to leave us a comment below.

Update: The CM’s were made by InterTrend Communications, an American communication agency whose target is Asian American audiences. According to the Wall Street Journal blog, the “TV commercial will run on Asian-language programs in the US, and “there are no current plans to expand it beyond the American audience”. It appears they have been seen on the Korean-speaking channels SBS America and SBS Plus, but it has not yet been confirmed.

In addition to the English CM’s, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, and Vietnamese versions have also been released.

A few articles about Miku’s American debut: “Automakers Fall in Love With Odd Spokescreatures” on AdWeek, “Toyota Corolla Helps Debut Virtual Pop Diva Hatsune Miku to U.S. Market” on BusinessWeek and “3-D Japanese Star Promotes Toyota Corolla” on NPR.

From Toyota’s website: “Pick up the May issue of Koream, Hyphen or many other magazines for a special collectors edition print of Hatsune Miku. This month, artist Alvin Lee teamed up with Miku and Corolla.” Both magazines are targeted to Asian American audiences.

Here’s the poster:

Image source: Toyota

And here’s a close-up:

Image source: HatsuneMikuMiku

And don’t forget the pictures of the making of Corolla Miku TVCM on InterTrend’s Facebook page!

It should be noted that the long version of the CM (“Big Dream”) was ranked number 1 on the daily YouTube view ranking on the second day after it was released; it currently has almost 850,000 views.

Sources: Toyota, InterTrend Communications’ Facebook.

85 thoughts on “The 2011 Toyota Corolla Marks Miku’s US Debut (Updated)”

  1. this make me rage. hard. big time. if you look in this link here…

    you'll notice there is no miku on this website at all. that is the same car being advertised on that website right there. kinda says something, doesn't it? inb4 miku being featured in McDonalds and/or Hot Topics with 8-13 year old girls sporting the fad the most.

    1. You haven’t met an 8-13 year old Vocaloid fan? I know 3 of them. You need to hang with more lolis.

  2. Don't think this will sit well with the average American because vocaloid isn't exactly well known there.

    1. I think the point of the commercial is actually to bring attention to the existence of Vocaloid to an American audience. The goal of the 'English Miku' marketing, so far, has been aiming towards this.

      1. Humm no, the point of the commercial is to sell the car 😀 I think that on Toyota America's view point Miku give a Japanese/HighTech/Music touch and youth appeal. While sure for Crypton its a great opportunity not long before the release of Miku:English. Probably a win-win situation and Toyota's use of Miku was free of usage rights (may not have been so in Japan).

        Also I'm CERTAIN the guys at the marketing department of Toyota America are not targeting Vocaloid fans to sell more cars :p

        1. It's a symbiotic relationship. Miku helps sell the car, the car helps Miku become more well known in America.

          I thought it was pretty smart to use the footage (and song) from the concert that got everybody's attention in the first place. All the people who got sucked in by that will see this commercial now and get excited.

  3. …… The hell is this?
    This is the big debut?
    There is no Miku love on that car. No love.

  4. I mean, I mean, its interesting that Toyota felt strongly enough to do this but yeah the commercial just feels "cheap". Somehow using stock concert footage in a commercial for a completely unaffiliated brand feels corny. Plus the name pronunciation ofc.

  5. I see what they did there… And it was clever, to say the least, IMO. I predicted it might be some kind of commercial, but not for a car. With this, they're just introducing her to the public, and getting them curious and interested enough to look up who she is. Its a small, if not subtle, step into advertising her to America. Plus, collaborating with Toyota means that they already have another company backing them in promoting her.

  6. I don't know about you, but this make's me OTL so hard. Isn't Miku too young to drive???

  7. I've been thinking all week about what Miku's "Big America Debut" would be, and I guessed that it would be a commercial with the concert footage, but I definitely didn't guess that Miku would become Toyota USA's new mascot (hahaha Japan, now America has the most expensive fan merch).

    I have a mixed reaction toward the commercial – Its definitely unique and eye-catching, but at the same time its weird and the cheering crowd is kind of corny. I do like the animation – I laughed at Miku's hair blowing in the wind, and the sleeves lighting up looked really awesome. And its great that they used her songs and showed the concert footage (which is what America will recognize).

  8. More importantly, I think that with this ad we have a strong hint at the box cover of Miku English. Notice how the artist westernized Kei's drawing. I personnaly do not like it but as long as the Voicebank is good …

    1. Actually it's a Westernised drawing of Tony Taka's Miku drawing. Am I the only person who likes that picture? xD I think it's rather well drawn and looks 'Western' enoguh without completely losing the Japanese roots.

      1. Yeah how could I have missed this ? I use Taka's picture has my Firefox personna o.0

        Also, IMO the 16s ad is quite good, if it's aired at prime time, I think Vocaloid will really gain some ground.

  9. Interesting, I wish Crypton and Toyota luck. Though I think Luka would have actually been the better choice. ^_^

    What bothers me is that stubborn fans get in a huff when their "favorite hobby" gets attention in their country of origin. When the place their hobby is, is already mainstream and is merchandised to heck and back. So why don't they want that type of exposure in their own country is just agitating to figure out.

    Is it wrong for America and other places to experience Miku and Vocaloid without the fandom having a nervous breakdown? hmph.

    Anyway… World is Mine was a fun choice XD


    Oooooo I want that car so badly. JUST BECAUSE.
    I'll bug my mom for it later.

    UHM. 3D CG render looked so bad I wanted to cry. I thought they would have put a little more effort into westernizing her style just a little more (by western-izing it, I mean actually adding a little more detail, ya naw?)

      1. Basically.
        shitbox car endorsed by Miku>other nice cars that are just as cheap if not cheaper if I haggle for the right price and is probably more reliable and efficient

        AS YOU CAN TELL. I'm hypnotized already :0

  11. I have to agree a bit with zenoxy, the 3D renderation of miku in the car looked great until she stepped out and looked kind of…. different?

    Other than that, it's not as big as I hoped her debut would be, but at the same time I love it. Here in America, I think we need to slowly phase her in, until we can find a right image and good audience. After that, Miku will become popular, I just know it! 😀

    Will the average American understand why a Japanese-singing blue-haired girl that looks like something from "Tron" is stepping out of a Toyota vehicle? Of course not. But it's a step closer to bringing Miku to this side of the world, and if a short car commercial is all it takes to start Miku's World Domination, then by all means do it!

    1. In the car you have the Marza CGI used for Mikupa and the Kocchi Muitte Baby promotional PV of PD2; then we shift to the Kanshasai 39's concert footage using the PDA CGI.
      IMO the first one is better but people are obviously divided on this topic.

  12. Love the idea but the execution needs to be much better because if that commercial goes live the average American will find it more annoying than anything else.

  13. I got mixed feeling here, happy becuz Miku is getting more publicity, thought it was over after that semi-fail Mikupa two months ago =v=, although kinda disturbed that they decided to westernized Miku art =w=, trying to westernized Asian style wont work…Dragonball Evolution anyone? And dont make me start on the upcoming AKIRA movie, but all on all I am happy XD, though they can do a better job fit for a virtual diva

  14. YES!! This was a GREAT commercial! I so want that car… However, Miku looks kinda strange in the Westernized picture. But it’s good enough for me! I hope she gets really popular here, I’m dying to try to buy Vocaloid things here in America without having to ask my mom to order it for me. Q_Q
    I’m hoping Project Diva 2.5 will release in the U.S if Miku gets that much attention here. I hope this gets her really popular. I can’t wait for what Crypton has next for the U.S~

  15. Allen, do you know what channel this aired on and when? Because I think the demographic says a lot to gauge the success or failure of this commercial. If we look at the demographic, most of those people that got into DTM and Vocaloid are right at that prime age between 16 and 25, the ideal introductory driving age, and as Allen stated, the Corolla starts at 15.6k, and adds a lot of media accouterments, putting it in direct competition with the new VW Jetta. Depending on what channel it aired, and when, they may have maximized their core audience, and succeeded. I'm sure the technology blogs will be scratching their heads and more articles will follow in the news media with the topic line "Who is Hatusne Miku?" as they've done in the past.

    As for the commercial itself, I think it gives out some major hints as to what to expect for the US debut of Miku. We're getting the concert tour, and with Sega running the show, which is why they showed the original concert footage, and not the new one. Also, there was no hint of an english Miku, or else they would have translated World is Mine. The graphics are a bit half-assed, but they're still using that whole Dreamy Theater engine to do it. I would prefer to have seen some "Miku Edition" stylings within the car itself, but maybe I'm asking too much on that.

    I think this commercial is just the beginning. We're going to be getting a LOT of new information in the next few weeks as to what this all means, so we'll have to keep on our toes and update as fast as possible. Good on you for finding it, Walker.

    1. That would be exciting as long as she looks nothing like the art on the website, I think I would die if that happened.

    2. Unfortunately, I do not have the information as to what and where regarding TV broadcasting. As for who found it, you can credit Chibikarla for posting it on the Chatbox. But I agree, this is only the beginning.

    3. Don't know if they aired it yet. Maybe just a YouTube release first, but the fact there's a 16s format is clearly aimed at TV. Bonus Negi for the first american seeing it on the TV !

      Anyway, I think the buzz is is very strong in less than one day the video got 200k views and is first position of the day for most viewed and favorited on YT Automotive category, It's also third most viewed of the day in Japan. In this latest case, I think it's not really interesting for Toyota USA though 😀

      Also completely OT: 28mpg !! That's more than 8l/100km, even my ten year old Toyota Yaris is better than that. Well it's probably still very good compared with the average American gas-guzzling car.

    4. ^Finally not some half-assed opinion like the ones I've seen in sankaku or youtube, I mean really.^

  16. I hate the model they used for the commercial, and I hate Ryo's Miku stuff (especially world is mine) but that commercial sent chills down my spine lol. The "americanized" illustration is actually imo really really pretty. Her mouth looks weird though.

  17. I've been so busy discussing the commericals with everyone that I didn't even realize how big this is. FREAKING TOYOTA. One of the biggest companies out there. Known to the average household around the world. And this is just the beginning.

    Anyone think that by using the concert footage, that means they want to bring the concert here? Just guessing (ohpleaseHoustonpleaseHouston).

    1. If you didn't already know, there was a Vocaloid concert at AX in L.A., California early this month. Tickets sold out in the first two weeks of release. Whoo~ 😀

  18. I thought Miku's debut in the US would be something big, but this surprised me!

    The Miku image on the Corolla site actually looks cool, though I'm not sure what to think about the CGI in the commercial and the song choice. The song is good, but Miku's tuning is… okay. To my Vocaloid-adapated ears. I'm not fond of the CGI/song myself, but what will people who have never heard of Vocaloid think?

    Actually, I'm extremely curious as to what western audiences will think…

  19. This is hilarious. I never would have guessed this. I wonder what channel these commercials will be on? If they're on mainstream channels during prime time, I'm sure most of ht audience would be turned off by some random anime girl who sounds like a chipmunk.

  20. Uhhm, I feel like… Like… I feel like her voice is bad-quality in the full commercial. I mean like, it sounds a lot different than all the versions I've ever heard. D:

    But all you people who are complaining, she had to be introduced somehow, and this was a way to do it easily. It's only the first step in a long process, guys.

    1. While I did say "World is Mine" is a nice choice, do not forget that WiM was purposely done slightly offkey for a reason, it gave Miku a more bratty tone and the screaming fits far better in that arrangement. Compare that to "KM Baby", and you will hear that much of the work from Ryo is intentional.

  21. I know this is OT, but does anyone know when Vocaloid Otaku will be Malware free? Or can give me an estimate at least?

  22. awhawhaw! only miku? wat about da kagamine? LOLz
    but wow! i was really impressed with this, did it aired yet? it's pretty cool!!

    1. It's not for selling more corollas, but to introduce Miku as something serious to the American audience :]

      1. Yeah sure, as if punny CFM with its obscure music software would have had any influence on the advertizing strategy of the biggest automaker in the world :p

        The very good news for the Vocaloid community is that the marketing dudes at Toyota USA are 1) Aware of Miku 2) Think that she has the right mix of novelty and potential to be worth being used in their commercial.

        I'm sure CFM is viewing that as a fantastic opportunity and certainly allowed the use of Miku free of any rights (admittedly they probably obtained the favor of having a quarter second shot of their software in the spot). Sega may also be interested if they plan to release PD in the US.

    1. Why would you? Other than the website and the commercial, there's no link between the two at all, not even a "special Miku edition" package with Vocaloid stylings or bonus features. Seriously, that makes absolutely no sense to buy it just on the fact that a CGI Miku was sitting in it unless there's a bonus package.

      1. A yes, a "Special Miku Edition" would be targeting the fans, but I doubt there's a demographic for that, these kind of special editions are usually partnership with a brand having an appeal to a very large audience. And anyhow a personalized customization with the level of the Miku GT is probably around $3000, so nothing would prevent any die-hard fan to customize their Corolla which is now officially Miku's car.

        Or is it ?

        [youtube 9Z68aYo8wLo youtube]


  23. Mixed feeling is mixed. The video IMHO, is quite awesome. Decent enough and its by the freaking Toyota! One of the biggest company worldwide! Kudos to Crypton for this breakthrough!
    The picture on the other hand…

  24. This clip is already getting attention: with close to half a million views in the 15 hours since the news broke, it has hundreds of thousands more views than anything else on Toyota's channel. ( Also, the World is Mine Live concert clip has now reached 6 million views.)

    1. The video also gained the most viewed of the Week honor for the Auto & Vehicule category. Miku gives a lot of exposure on the Internet, but majorly from Japan which is probably not something Toyota USA is looking for I think.

  25. It's obvious that they're trying for big things here, but I personnaly think they tryed the wrong areas though. But what I think and what goes may well be two different things.

    Also, that image is not 'Americanized', that style is not popular in America, something close is, but not that. Look closely at it. 'Americanized' would be more like Marvel or DC, not like that. Personally I think that that style would detract from Miku's sales if they used it for English Miku.

  26. I don't know what you guys are talking about with "Hatsuni Miku"–I definitely heard "ne." Then again, he slurred it a bit, so I guess I can see the confusion.

    Everyone on the Miku Facebook page wants a Corolla now. Well played, Toyota. Well played.

    1. Yeah, I can't really tell if he mispronounced it or not. Either way, at least he didn't butcher it.

  27. er… I dont know how Hatsune Miku (Virtual Idol) could affect the sales of Toyota Corolla (car)… but hey its an achievement after all.. congrats to you Miku.. but in the future please release some products that is music related.. like a head phone.. Mp3 player or something….


  28. I just about soiled myself when I saw this ad. XD
    Hm its about time Vocaloid is advertised in the US. Ill be sure to record the commercial.
    But I wish they used a different song. Miku's not my fav, but I would prefer a song like… Melt.. or Electro World <-probably impossible for EW because its by Perfume.
    But the part where Miku screams high pitched sounds really bad on there.

    The 3D rendering is a bit off, and whats with the Americanized portrait? Everything but the nose is fine. But…the nose. :O

    And Toyota should put more information about Vocaloid on their website. All thats there is the portrait, 2 ads, and some text explaining the ads. Nothing really about Vocaloid.

    Its ok though needs work. I hope more skilled Toyota associates work on this project in the future and I dont believe Crypton helped with the process, so maybe they should step in.

    Now what if Crypton did a commercial banding with Internet Co. Ltd., Sony, and AH Software to do a commercial including all of the Japanese Vocaloids ?(except VY1+2-they dont have avatars) And in the commercial they advertise the coming of English Miku.

    Theres alot to be done though Im thankful that America is finally seeing some action.

  29. I made a whole analysis of the commercial on my tumblr, because I ramble a lot:

    Personally, I think people in America believe that they're using Miku to advertise the car. However, with this, further discussion's being brought up about who Hatsune Miku is, and that's actually fueling the world-domination fire for Crypton. It's obvious that they're advertising both ways, advertising Miku and the Corolla, and it's a good strategy to bring Miku into America.

    Crypton's doing a helluva good job so far. Smart guys.

  30. En lo personal me gusta el comercial, espero sea el inicio de la incurcion de Hatsune Miku y otros entes virtuales en los medios de comunicacion estadounidenses, sobre todo que se rompa ese muro de rechaso a lo que no es americano por parte de ellos, exitos a Crypton y a Hatsune Miku.-

  31. I knew it was only a matter of time untill japanese culture in general moved (further, it's already present.) in to Western civilization, but why did they choose such an ill-suited song for it? World Is Mine, a song about being the prettiest princess of them all, while it suits some, will probably scare away most at first.
    Should've gone with one of the more guitar-centered songs, like clock lock works or symphony. Hell, I'd even take rolling girl or mozaik role over world is mine… and how exactly did the quality become so messed up, shouldn't they be ripping from the BD?

    Really not the best-foot-forward for Crypton in the Western World.

    1. Mozaik Role stars GUMI, who isn't a Crypton Vocaloid. 😉

      But yeah, I would've preferred Melt myself. She's so mean in World is Mine. xD

      Also, that magazine ad made my day. Gorgeous art! 😀

  32. Well for those not in the know, this ad campaign is due to the fact that Toyota is the main sponsor of Miku Hatsune's upcoming Live Concert at the 2011 Anime Expo in LA. The latest update on the Toyota website actually mentions it. And as for the choice of song ("World is Mine"), odds are this video was viral enough to warrant the choice (as in with 6 million views? why not?):

    Not to mention just about every recent news site and report around the world that featured Miku Hatsune also used the same video
    Example (news report in Italy):

    Here's the main website of the concert:

  33. Those news articles linked have several other news articles linked, and so do those. etc, etc…apparently the business and ad world has caught onto this! And thats just amazing, hearing World is Mine on NPR.


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