Saatchi Continues Youth Drive for Corolla

LOS ANGELES Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi continues its appeal to the youth market with the latest spot for the Toyota Corolla, which breaks tonight on 24, CSI: Miami and Fear Factor, the agency said.

In the 30-second spot, a young man drags his junker up a hill, shackled to the vehicle with chains. Seeing a Corolla breeze past him, he breaks his chains and is suddenly alongside an attractive blond woman, listening to the Corolla’s CD player and enjoying his new ride. As their car passes another young man being dragged downhill by his steaming wreck, a voiceover says, “Nicely equipped, amazingly affordable, the Toyota Corolla,” followed by the standard tag, “Now that’s moving you forward.”

The spot was shot in San Pedro, Calif., and directed by Paul Gay of Omaha Pictures, Santa Monica, Calif. Gay earlier made a humorous spot for Toyota in which a woman moves her European Yaris from beneath a man who’s lost his ladder, ignoring his rescue.

Napper Tandy (copy) and Dino Spadavecchia (art), associate creative directors in Saatchi’s Torrance, Calif., office, said the idea came from Tandy’s personal trauma. “I had a cherished, 1978 International Harvester car,” he said. “Once, it didn’t start on the day of a presentation. When I finally got to work, it didn’t take me long to concept up the idea.”

Spadavecchia said the spot is part of “an ongoing effort. Over the course of the past few years, we’re skewing Corolla younger and younger.” In the last campaign, for example, a car makeover spot was a takeoff on MTV’s Pimp My Ride.

“Of the people considering the Corolla, a large group are first-time new car buyers,” said Tandy. “Many of them have older vehicles on their last legs. The campaign will stress the Corolla’s value and style.” Tandy said Toyota’s long-standing reputation for reliability allows the team to make a more emotional appeal.

A two-execution print campaign carries the theme forward. One ad featuring a montage of images (“Today’s agenda: no agenda) represents the creative team’s “organic advertising” approach, Spadavecchia said. “We shot it ourselves and put it together for a raw, representative story about the day in the life of a young couple,” he said. “It’s not so slick. We’d rather speak to young people on their own terms than ram a message down their throats.”

Tandy said a new campaign for the ’06 Corolla should begin in late July or August. Torrance, Calif.-based Toyota Motors spent $70 million advertising the Corolla in 2004, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.