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Ad of the Day: Toyota

A man and his truck—and their epic tale of love, loss, and redemption

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There's nothing manly men love more than enormous, stuff-hauling pickup trucks, if advertisements are any indication. In its latest spot for Toyota, Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney pokes a bit of fun at the man-truck relationship with a heartbreaking tale of love, loss, and despair.

Tragedy strikes early in this story when a Toyota HiLux pickup truck, while being loaded full of lumber by its rugged owner, rolls down a hill and over a cliff to a watery demise. For the man, it's not just the loss of a car—it's an existential crisis-inducing loss of a beloved companion. Cue the melodramatic misery montage, set to Player's 1977 classic "Baby Come Back." (Its opening line about a "mask of false bravado" speaks particularly well to the truck-ad genre.) The man can barely function, so tormented is he by flashbacks to happier times chopping wood, pulling down large structures, and doing other stereotypical pickup-truck-ad activities with his four-wheeled "baby." Finally, standing alone in the pouring rain, he breaks. But his Toyota won't let him down that easily. As the man strolls past the site of the accident, a shell of his former self, he discovers his true love waiting for him on the beach—and apart from a little water under the seats, she's in surprisingly good shape for having fallen off a cliff into saltwater. (I think it's safe to assume Toyota isn't trying to convince people that its trucks can survive a 1,000-foot fall unscathed, though one YouTube commenter predicts, "Unfortunately, it'll get pulled as it'll be deemed 'misleading.'")

With truck commercials rarely straying from the usual gruff narration about horsepower, even if Toyota's spot doesn't technically explain what makes the HiLux so special (apart from its cliff-diving capabilities), it's nice to see a pickup spot that doesn't take itself too seriously. And let's face it, it's probably the only one you'll remember for more than five minutes.



CREDITS:
Client: Toyota Australia
Divisional Manager, Marketing: Scott Thompson
Corporate Manager, Marketing: Adrian Weimers
Manager, Advertising: Noni Rosengren

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Sydney, Australia
Creative Director: Steve Carlin
Copywriter/Art Director: Jon Burden
Art Director: Simon Cox
Group Business Director: Ben Court
Senior Business Director: Amy Turnbull
TV Producer: Llew Griffiths
Executive Director: Steve Anastasiadis

Production Company: Robbers Dog
Director: Adam Stevens
Production Co Producer: Mark Foster

Media Agency: The Media Store