H&L Partners Celebrates Toyota Prius, the State of California

By Erik Oster Comment

H&L Partners launched a campaign for Toyota Prius, promoting the hybrid vehicle’s new model as “Redesigned, CA Style.”

Based around the insight that Californians buy more Prii (according to the pitch we received, the plural of Prius — who knew?) than anyone else, the spot embraces and celebrates some common assumptions/stereotypes about residents of the state.

“California, here we come/ Right back where we started from…”

The two-minute anthem ad introduces the state as the “last stop for every weirdo and wild-eyed visionary who ever had a dream…or at least enough gas to get here” over an acoustic guitar (of course) and footage of the state’s natural beauty. Things take a turn for the even more self-congratulatory when the voiceover claims, “We like to be at the forefront, the first to grab on to the next big thing and make it ours,” championing the state as the birthplace of jeans, the smartphone and “putting avocado on everything.”

It then adds, “Maybe the environment just isn’t that big of a deal to them” about residents of other states who maybe just don’t understands the appeal of Toyota’s hybrid. It’s kind of weird that the one guy seems to be giving his car a luxurious wash though. Isn’t there still a big drought going on over there?

A trio of 30-second spots continues the theme, focusing on common stereotypes of Californians as “Hippies,” “Weirdos” and “Nerds.”

The self-satisfied approach makes sense since Californians already love the Prius. But the effort is targeted specifically at the Northern California market, where its tone is not likely to offend viewers and may stoke state pride, especially among those who are already fans of Toyota’s hybrid offering.

Agency: H&L Partners
Creative Director: Rob Bagot
Associate Creative Director/Copywriter:
Dallas Baker
Art Director: Brian G Cheung
Executive Producer: Ted Meyer
Account Director: Trey Curtola
Account Manager: Chris Cronin
Account Coordinator: Camille Kahrimanian
Account Executive: Ongie Chin

Production Company: Caviar
Director: Hugo Stenson
DP: Jac Fitzgerald
Executive Producer: Kim Dellara
Production Contact: Jude Vermeulen

Editorial: Cartel Editorial
Editor(s): Leo Scott, Chris Catanach
Producer: Barbara Healey
Executive producer: Lauren Bleiweiss

Telecine: Electric Theatre Collective
Colorist: Aubrey Woodiwiss

Music & Sound: Barking Owl Sound
Music Producer: Ashley Benton
Final Music: Atticus Ross, Brian Canning,
Seth Olinsky
Sound Designer: Morgan Johnson
Executive Producer: Kelly Bayett