Toyota Tacoma, Honda Ridgeline Compete on Small Screen

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There's a battle heating up in the midsize pickup truck arena, and nowhere is it more obvious than in the recent advertising campaigns for the Toyota Tacoma and Honda Ridgeline.

According to Automotive News, the Truck Wars have reached a new level of ferocity on the small screen. Both the Toyota and Honda television commercials take laserlike aim at the demographic they believe their pickup will best serve.

Toyota's commercial is all about extreme sports, heavy-metal music, wild explosions and nonstop adventure, targeting young men who push themselves and their vehicle to the limits. Honda, with its sheep-rancher ad, targets the more established and mature buyer who likes quiet fields, classic rock and comfy, warm clothing.

The commercials couldn't be more different, but they are proof that midsize pickup buyers have a wide range of choices. It's not clear whether these commercials exemplify smart target marketing or oversimplification; we'll have to wait and see which one wins out. No doubt Honda has a less ambitious definition of success when it comes to total sales since it's basically been out of the market for a few years and is just now re-entering the market with a new 2016 model. Ridgeline buyers always have skewed a little older and wealthier than buyers of the other midsize players, and clearly the new look is meant to appeal to a wider truck-buying, family-oriented audience.

As the No. 1-selling midsize pickup by a wide margin, Toyota's Tacoma is more established and in a better position to offer different configurations to appeal to many types of buyers. We don't have any reason to think the new Tacoma won't keep that top spot for a long time to come. For now it's fun to see what each manufacturer is thinking about itself when watching these commercials. And if these don't see hit the bull's-eye, we'll be seeing different commercials soon.

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Unfortunately the loser in this battle will be the GM mids. GM targeted woman and borderline truck enthusiasts with part of their campaign, which will now be more enticed by the new Honda. And GM is finally trying to appeal to the real truck lovers as they toughen up the appearance packages for the twins. But the new Tacoma is killing in this category.

Not sure why it's unfortunate, I am totally ok with Toyota and Honda "killin it".
Afterall, Ford and GM and Fiat own the full size market, nothing unfortunate with that, it's called competition.

Not sure why it's unfortunate, I am totally ok with Toyota and Honda "killin it".
Afterall, Ford and GM and Fiat own the full size market, nothing unfortunate with that, it's called competition.

Are they selling a truck or the sheep cause all I see is sheep.

Good one Cooper but the shhep is not in the bed it`s in the cab.

I'm not sure how GM targeted women and "borderline truck enthusiasts"... They targeted the buyer who wants a small truck capable of towing their toys. The GM twins are undoubtedly the towing kings of the midsize market, but I digress.
As for Honda and Toyota, they also are targeting 2 very distinct markets. Don't expect Honda to overtake Toyota, we all know that won't happen. But I would expect them to steal a portion of those who want something light duty, and more comfortable.
The MPG numbers will be a big decider for me. If they don't beat out the Tacoma by a significant margin, I'll probably go with Toyota.

Blah blah blah the Taco is over rated any more, it has grown in size a lot, but not in capiabilities. Honda is unibody city truck. The only good thing bout the Taco is drum rear brakes that will last and save you money in the dirt/mud. Honda still has the goofy awd system, which works for a pavement pounder. I guess if I had to pick between these two, I would pick the Taco, If I had to pick out of all the midsize it be one of the GM twins, as plane jaine diesel I could get.

We'll see about this generation but the ride quality of the previous generation of Ridgeline was incomparably better than the Tacoma. My additional thought is that anyone seeking to tow over 5,000 pounds isn't shopping this segment anyway so I can't get too excited about who's got an extra 500-1000 pounds in rated capacity.

It is still a fwd pickup and doesnt handle offroad as they claim. mild dirt road at best. once trailering the mpg drops by 40 %. the awd will be worse. I have the 2007 ridge and at 225,000 miles zero problems but it is a company truck w an A.R.E cap in the back for security. It wont compete w taco but it does have nicer seats and adjustable. All other mid's are rwd to include the ranger coming back out - Honda barely sells 10,000 units usa. When the ridge came out in 2006 they compared to the F150 and that is why they got spanked - maybe they will have luck in the mid's although this fwd car / truck in the L version is $40k and way over priced.

I would gladly trade in my last Generation Tacoma for the Honda. Tired of rusty, creaky, breaking suspension parts and Toyolet's lame excuses for not reimbursement for claims. First they hide, now they drag it out with idiotic excuses.. Forget about Toyolet, they Tacoma is just another gussied up lifted Camry. Can't wait till I see the unfortunate soul in his wimpy Tacoma at an on ramp, bye bye wimpy 3.5 Toyolet.. Creak, Creak rust...

@tundra boob

You miss the point of this particular story by a mile. It's about advertising. Nobody mentioned GM (except you).

Honda changed the ultra-dorky look of their Ridgeline pickup, but made no substantive changes in the truck's capabilities, FE, etc.

Floral delivery drivers can now have Queen blasting from their speakers whilst making the rounds. Sheep lip-syncing Freddie Mercury singing opera?

Toyota has been humping the same Tacoma since Caesar was a pup and they advertise it with guys blasting around in the desert in a Mad Max sendup.

So you respond to this by taking a shot at poor old Big Al. And Me.

Ads for toys... Ill be honest I enjoy the Taco ad. Its what these toy trucks are about. Young men with money to burn doing silly things. I actually though the Ridgeline ad was very detrimental... Making a BIG deal out of being the class leader in having speakers in the bed? Really? For a little pretend truck owner towing polled as the 22nd most important feature... I wonder where speakers in the bed landed? And if you get the speakers in the bed you will impress the "sheeple" of the world. A pretend truck that impresses sheeple with a stupid feature. Don't forget your little pretend toy Ridgeline with its speakers in the bed only has room for 3 sheeple at a time so it must have taken like 20 trips out there to make that flock. And then there is a dog that has to talk. Because everyone loves dogs and loses all common sense with regards to dogs. Came off as really stupid to me...

@clint. You're nonsensical ramblings are difficult to get through and your comments don't even apply to this thread. Go elsewhere.

I bought a 2004 Tacoma when I was 25, 11-years ago. It's a great truck, still have it. Now I live in the Suburbs with 2 kiddos and the Honda looks like a pretty good deal. They're two trucks, marketed to the same folks...11 years apart.

I said "GM targeted woman and borderline truck enthusiasts" because that is who GM said they were targeting. They said their targets were woman, and first time truck buyers. Their words, not mine.

LOL go smoke another GMC.

"The automaker hopes to appeal to many different types of customer with the Colorado and Canyon, including younger buyers and current SUV/crossover owners, so the marketing approach taken with the two trucks will be crucial to its success."

Honda always a innovator, Is going to sell a lot of these to diyers and folks that don't want a real truck. I think its a pretty nice concept for some. We'll have to wait and see.

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