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Saatchi & Saatchi’s Tough Act To Follow Toyota Commercials

The multinational Toyota Motor Corporation, headquartered in Toyota, Aichi, Japan, has accrued a global reputation for manufacturing unbeatably tough pickup trucks and all-terrain vehicles.

Building on Toyota’s enduring ‘tough league’ brand persona, the Saatchi & Saatchi advertising agency network, has impressively conceived many tongue-in-cheek scenarios and dramatised ‘tough-acts’ that are highly entertaining to view.

1. Toyota Hilux: Unbreakable Bond

Advertising Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Wellington, New Zealand

On the ‘CampaignBrief’ online portal, Andrew Davis, general manager of marketing, Toyota New Zealand, outlined the underpinning creative motivation behind their integrated ‘Unbreakable Bond’ communication initiative:

“Hilux has always had a strong connection with Kiwis, so it’s great to be able to celebrate that bond through this new campaign and showcase all the different models, and drivers that are part of the Hilux New Zealand story”.

Filmed on location in Queenstown, on the shores of New Zealand’s South Island’s Lake Wakatipu, and directed by filmmaker Damien Shatford, the skillfully crafted scenario features superb performances by an engaging cast of characters.

The soundtrack of ‘Ghost Riders in the Sky’ by local New Zealand music legends Troy Kingi and Tami Neilson, adds much charm to the enjoyment of a very watchable commercial.

2. Toyota Hilux, Tougher Than You Can Imagine

Advertising Agency: Saatchi and Saatchi, Aukland, New Zealand

Directed by Leo Woodhead, this amusingly dramatised tale with a great twist at the end, was released online and TV, in an integrated campaign that included print, outdoor advertising, and point of sale material.

The campaign was launched to coincide with the 2012 France versus All Blacks rugby competition and was a huge hit with TV viewers and social media users to become one of New Zealand’s alltime commercial classics.

3. Toyota Hilux, Retrace

Advertising Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Sydney, Australia

Filmed on location in the small township of Paterson and surrounding countryside of the lower Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia, the ‘Retrace’ scenario is about a caring dad who retraces the routes and stops taken during an adventurous journey in a Toyota Hilux, to find his daughter’s treasured, soft-toy rabbit, that was lost somewhere.

Directed by much lauded filmmaker Tim Bullock, the charming tale has an amusing, guilty little twist that makes for rewarding viewing.

4. Toyota Hilux, Unbreakable Driver’s Test

Advertising Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Sydney, Australia

Directed by filmmaker Tim Bullock, this amusing parody of a Toyota ‘boot-camp’ to find unbreakable drivers worthy of owing a Hilux, features an entertaining cast of ‘toughie wannabes’ being put through their paces with amusing and very watchable results.

5. Toyota Tacoma, The Untameables

Advertising Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, New York, USA

In automotive advertising, the analogy of horses and horsepower, has been a popular metaphorical theme for many decades.

However, directed by Steve Rogerts, this story of a rancher, played by Don Swaze, trying to tame a Toyota Tacoma, as he would a spirited horse, does offer a fresh, ‘Wild West’ take on equating horses to engine power invented by Scottish engineer James Watt in the late 18th century.

6. Toyota Tacoma, Tough as Chuck

Advertsing Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Los Angeles, USA

Directed by filmmaker Andreas Nilsson, the tongue-in cheek scenario stars famous martial- arts tough guy, Chuck Norris of whom it is said can strangle an opponent with a cordless phone.

The commercial amusingly intimates that Chuck’s mere signature is enough to imbue a Tacoma pickup truck with his ‘kick- butt’ power.


7. Toyota Kluger, Desire

Advertising Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Sydney, Australia

Toyota’s Kluger, also known as the Highlander, is a mid-size crossover SUV. Directed by Tim Bullock, the commercial is based on the consumer insight that women SUV drivers often outnumber that of men.

The story at first seems like an automotive cliché of an attractive woman driving an attention getting new SUV model. The mould-breaking twist in the story however, very effectively communicates the Kluger’s motivational selling line; “Built for families. Designed for attention.”


8. Toyota Highlander, Heroes

Advertising Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Los Angeles, USA

Directed by filmmaker Trent Opalach, Toyota’s action-packed 2020 Super Bowl commercial stars Canadian model and actress Cobie Smulders, as a superhero-mom driving a Highlander to rescue victims of various movie-genre dramas.

The filmic scenario ends with an amusing twist and plays out against a soundtrack of “Love is the Reason” by Jerry Burnham and Raun Burnham.