Toyota did not respond to a request for comment. Publicis, which owns the advertising agencies responsible for much of Toyota and GM's marketing, declined to comment.
As the emissions debate divides car manufacturers in California, those who have struggled to develop environmental information can now find an opening to play up their commitment to mitigating pollution. Volkswagen, after addressing its emissions fraud scandal in print and video ads this summer, has since turned its focus on marketing its upcoming range of electric vehicles.
The automotive industry spends a lot on advertising and spends an estimated $ 35.5 billion over 1
But so far they have hardly touched on environmental issues.
Five car manufacturers announced during the Super Bowl this year; only Audi and Toyota explicitly addressed electric or hybrid vehicles.
Advertising for electric vehicles is more common in Europe, where environmental regulations are more established.
Toyota is most likely to focus on short-term consumer memory and limited pushback, experts said. And environmental considerations don't seem to be the main reasons people buy cars.
Only 7 percent of the 8,000 people surveyed by Brandwatch, a computer company, said that sustainability was an important issue when choosing car brands. A study by Deloitte found that while 29 percent of those surveyed said they prefer a hybrid, battery-powered or other alternative vehicle, up from 20 percent last year, demand could be dampened by low fuel prices, relaxed emissions standards and fewer discounts.  "Security is a much bigger concern than ideology," Manchanda said.