Toyota
Academy
Selling Cars with Ninjas and Spaceships.
Selling Cars with Ninjas and Spaceships.
Toyota
Academy
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Toyota
Academy
Client: Toyota

Project Description

This Isn’t Your Typical Product Demo.

Need a video to describe an active blind spot monitor?  Typically, you’d render a CG car driving down a boring road with some traffic on either side or something… probably throw an x-ray shader on the car to highlight the tech.  Not this time.  This time we’re talking Sasquatches riding the Lock-Ness Monster down the highway next to you.

The team at Saatchi & Saatchi wanted to bring some levity to the traditional product demo, have some fun with it, and produce a series of 15 second spots that highlighted features of Toyota’s lineup in an entertaining way.

We promptly went down the road to absurdity, as we do most of the time.  People have a general understanding of how these features work, so we didn’t need to educate them on the technology.   We needed to build a visual metaphor that attached those features to Toyota’s lineup.

How to Make Gas Mileage a Story.

Let’s be honest – most people couldn’t care less about how a blind spot monitor works, or how efficiencies in engine dynamics has led to some of the best fuel economy in the industry. They just want the box to be checked as a standard feature. They also want to drive from LA to Vegas and back on a single tank of gas because stopping in Barstow at a train converted McDonald’s is really one of the most depressing things this side of losing at Craps. And really, who the hell knows what Craps is anyways? But we digress.

Each spot featured a single specific feature.  Our job was to create an entertaining 15 second narrative surrounding that feature using a single production image as our only asset.  Because the image of the car was a still, we decided to orchestrate an entire animated illustration around it as our central element for the composition.  The narrative, we decided, would play around the car.

Unexpected twists became the backbone behind every spot. Being an animated spot meant we had the liberty to get pretty fantastic with our ideas.  Working with Saatchi & Saatchi, we created some pretty outrageous scenarios.  The common thread through all the narratives was the unexpected.  Start simple, a mundane drive through the hills, introduce an element of conflict that pairs with the feature we’re highlighting, and twist the solution.  The result is astronauts taking pictures with aliens.

The hand became the narrator.  In every spot the hand is the initiator of this world, and often, the one to change the rules.  This further expanded our narrative freedom.  The hand could simply come in and erase something it set up to twist the storyline.

None of the narratives were locked down when we shot the hand.  We knew roughly what we wanted it to do, but we had no idea where this was going specifically.  We looked at speed drawing (which, on a side, are a pretty spectacular way of blowing an afternoon – they’re amazing to watch).

There is a stop motion sensibility in speed drawings, you never quite understand where the hand is, or the exact stroke it just made – you take for granted that it just drew what you see.  We figured this would be the best avenue to go down, considering we still didn’t know what it would be drawing in the first place.

25,168,732 Completed Views Across All Vehicles. We’d Humbly Say This Kind of Worked Out.

Who Knew Ben Franklin Could Sell Cars?

Turns out people enjoy the irreverent sense of humor behind these spots. After millions of completed online views – it safe to say these spots grabbed people’s imaginations, and helped establish a positive relationship with Toyota’s brand. It’s a smart campaign, a fun one to produce, and think about – and we’re glad the team at Saatchi & Saatchi brought us in to collaborate on it.