the 2020 seasonal sales event showdown

by Bryant
June 11, 2021

December is truly a magical time. It’s a time of celebration -- of looking forward to the future. It’s a time of reflection and happiness. And nothing really makes me happier than my favorite event of the year: winter car sales!

For car dealers, the end of the year is a time to clean inventory, meet sales projections, and start the new year off strong. And everyone loves a good sale, especially at the end of the year. While most car brands hold winter car sales, no one does it quite like Toyota and Honda.

Unlike other (boring) car brands, Toyota’s Toyotathon and Honda’s Happy Honda Days are not just any other winter sales events, they are true American holidays. These events have a long history; Toyotathon started in 1969 as a 36 hour event at a Butler Toyota Dealership, while Happy Honda Days stretches farther than Google can measure. Throughout the years, these two events have even become memes, with plenty of new jokes and parodies coming out on Twitter every year.

Though the focus has always been more on the event itself, we still took some time to review the two brand’s campaigns this year.

The Toyotathon tradition has been threatened this year. Up until Thanksgiving, there was no official word if Toyotathon was canceled and the Thousand Oaks Toyota was the only dealership promoting the event... the uncertainty was killer! (Though, to be honest I actually have no idea when Toyotathon usually starts.) Nonetheless on November 30th, Toyota released three 60 second ads for Toyotathon. These spots are an emotional campaign centered around love, tugging at heartstrings with a gentle reminder to be grateful.

Super Mom

Super Mom is a shoutout to all the busy moms out there; a realistic depiction of taking care of kids while also working. The mom is also shown to be a medical professional, a nice nod towards the frontline workers fighting the pandemic this year. Overall a great, relatable story.

The Journey

The Journey is a lovely feel-good story that showcases the Toyota Rav-4’s all terrain capabilities: the perfect road trip vehicle. It’s a relatable moment for kids, and hopefully a wake up call for parents to spend a little more time with them.


Mailbox is an emotional story showcasing Toyotas in action, helping people get to where they need to go. It showcases two more Toyotas, the Highlander and the Tacoma, diversifying the commercials line-up The commercial also serves as a shoutout to veterans.