Ad of the Day: Toyota

Saatchi builds a giant human out of 18 smaller humans to say there's a Prius for everyone

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Toyota and Saatchi & Saatchi have been feeling the heat lately for being a bit creepy. Now, here's another mildly unsettling campaign from the agency and automaker—though at least this one shouldn't bring any lawsuits.

To illustrate that the Toyota Prius has expanded its line to four vehicles, and now has something for everyone, Saatchi & Saatchi in Los Angeles came up with a peculiarly grand idea—having 18 people link together, Pilobolus-like, to create an enormous person going about his morning routine in the suburbs. The giant wakes up, draws the curtains, stretches, brushes his teeth and gets dressed for work. After a spot of breakfast and a glance at the morning paper, he steps outside—where we see four Prius cars parked in the driveway. At this point, the huge person begins to dismantle, as the 18 people peel off and walk to their respective cars. "Toyota presents the Prius family," says the voiceover. "There's the original one, the bigger one, the smaller one, and the one that plugs in. They're all a little different. Just like us." The camera sweeps to the sky to show a multicolored graphical representation of the four cars, along with the line, "Prius goes plural."

The outlandish fairy-tale conceit, while odd, is certainly eye-catching and very different for the category, even if the internal logic of the make-believe world feels a little fuzzy. "From one person to many, from one Prius to many," is how Saatchi executive creative director Margaret Keene explains the metaphor. (Perhaps it would help if the latter process were visualized, too.) But quibbles aside, the spot is undeniably memorable, and it's likely to inspire mentions all over Twitter after each national airing—much like the Honda Civic's furry monster, itself a figure that instilled a certain amount of dread, did a few months ago.

One last note: It appears that "Prii" won the James Lipton-led contest for how one actually should pluralize the word Prius. But Toyota isn't using Prii much in the new marketing materials, preferring instead to go with the warmer and cuddlier "Prius Family."


Client: Toyota

Model: Prius

Spot: "People Person"

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Los Angeles

ECDs: Margaret Keene, Chris Adams, Mike McKay

CDs: Ryan Jacobs, Jeff Church

ACD, Copywriter: Andy Kadin

ACD, Designer: Zach Richter

Copywriter: Kimberley Ragan

Art Director: Rebecca Johnson-Pond

Production Artist: Clint Hudspeth

Director of Integrated Production, Multimedia: Tanya LeSieur

Broadcast Senior Producer: Jennifer Pearse

3-D Producer: Carl Deo

Project Manager: Alexis Ross

Group Account Director: Marisstella Marinkovic

Account Director: Marisstella Marinkovic

Account Supervisor: Landon Nguyen

Account Executive: Suyun Wu

Strategic Planning Director: Sara Bamossy

Planning: Sara Bamossy, Regan Zajac

Communications Director: Samantha Johnson

Business Affairs Manager: Karen Mahoney

Client Name: Colin Morisako

Production Company: The Sweet Shop, Culver City, Calif.

Director: Mr. Hide

Director of Photography: John Toon

Art Director: Justin Trask

Production Designer: Sean Hargreaves

Editing Company: Bikini Editorial, New York

Executive Producer: Gina Pagano

Producer: Gina Pagano

Editor: Avi Oron

Assistant Editor: Sterling Robertson

Postproduction:: Eight VFX, Santa Monica, Calif.

Special Effects: Eight VFX

VFX Supervisor: Jean Marc Demmer

Executive Producers: Baptiste Andrieux, Shira Boardman

VFX Producer: Donna Langston

VFX Coordinator: Douglas Scruton

Roto, Paint: Marianne Magne, Chris Fregoso, Natalia Schkliar

3-D Artists: Mathias Jourdes, Shuichi Nakahara, Jerome Platteaux, Kevin Culhane, Oliver Arnold

3-D Supervisors: Giancarlo Lari, Vania Alban-Zapata

Compositors: Raphael Mosley, Andy Davis, Mathieu Caulet, Yann Mallard, Stephane Allender, Marcelo Pasqualino, Dave Stern, Joe Chiao, Tony Petitti, Colleen Smith

Music: Agoraphone Music, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Music Supervisor: Beth Urdang

Licensed Music Track: "Got to Be Free," The Kinks

Music Editor: Mark Vodler, Go Home Productions, U.K.

Sound Design: Lime: Rohan Young, Santa Monica, Calif.

Mix: Lime: Rohan Young

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.