Toyota recently launched a new six-commercial ad campaign for the 2015 Camry, and one of the spots (a screen shot from which is shown above) is very PermaRec-ish.
Before you watch the commercial, check out the script, which is delivered as a first-person narrative:
Started my Camry
Went to the auction
Won a storage locker
Found an old guitar
Tracked down the previous owner
Hit the jackpot
Now, if you've ever watched the TV show Storage Wars, you know that the people who bid on abandoned storage lockers tend to be professional salvage dealers, not random Camry owners, so it's rare for a "normal" person to win one of those auctions. It's even rarer for the lockers to contain anything of value. And it's well-nigh impossible for that thing of value to be connected to a famous person such as — here, just watch the commercial and see for yourself:
Pretty cheesy, right? Still, the impulse to reunite an object with its original owner is certainly one I can appreciate. And as aspirational fantasies go, the urge to investigate an item's past is certainly better than car advertising's usual fantasy, which is that the car will give you status and get you laid. Fortunately, as we've demonstrated many times here on Permanent Record, you can turn the "Let's find out who owned this" fantasy into reality without bidding on a storage locker — or driving a Toyota Camry, for that matter.