Toyota shifts advertising into a new gear with expansive campaign

Toyota shifts advertising into a new gear with expansive campaign


Dive Brief:

  • Toyota’s latest campaign moves the brand beyond its traditional vehicle-based advertising into a more story-focused, narrative format, the company said in a press release.
  • “Never Settle” launched earlier this month and is set to run through February 2023 across primetime and sports programming, cinema, digital video and content and paid social media. Each of the campaign’s seven spots focuses on a different chapter in a person’s life.
  • The campaign comes as auto brands traditionally ramp up advertising for new models and as businesses prepare for lower consumer spending due to economic concerns that could dampen overall ad spending.

Dive Insight:

Storytelling can be a way to build a more emotional engagement with consumers, an approach Toyota appears to be embracing with its new campaign. Each spot focuses on the characters, with a car featured in the background, largely unmentioned. Different stories are connected to different vehicles in Toyota’s lineup in order to build a story around them. Saatchi & Saatchi, Burrell Communications, Conill Advertising and Intertrend Communications all worked on the campaign.

In one spot, a family (played by actual family members) brings a new baby home in a Toyota Sienna as the father navigates the busy world around them. In another, a young boy learns how to swim and ride a bike, inspired by those around him.

One ad, created by Conill Advertising, plays on the automakers tagline, “Let’s Go Places.” A boy sits in the back of a Toyota, asking his mother, “Are we there yet?” She replies with a negative. Each scene of the minute-long video shows Latino individuals achieving milestones, such as graduation, opening a business and going to space. In each scene someone asks, “Are we there yet?” To which they receive a “not yet.” The spot is meant to celebrate Latino trailblazers. Toyota has a strong following in the Latino community, and in 2020 was found to be the preferred brand of Hispanic Americans.

“Most Toyota campaigns are vehicle-focused, highlighting individual vehicle attributes,” said Lisa Materazzo, group vice president, marketing, Toyota Motor North America in a press release. “This brand campaign is designed to complement our vehicle-specific advertising through storytelling that represents our brand beliefs and identity.”

Supply chain issues have been a hot topic since the beginning of the pandemic. In recent months, automotive manufacturers have been plagued with shortages. However, Toyota’s new campaign, along with the brand investing in new advertising technology, comes as supply-chain issues appear to be beginning to ease for the auto industry.

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