Oh Brother! Waltrips Race for Toyota

LOS ANGELES New executions in Toyota’s Nascar-sponsorship campaign starring Darrell and Michael Waltrip break this weekend.

“[Darrell Waltrip] is the right guy for the job because he has such legitimacy,” said Saatchi & Saatchi creative director Greg Braun. “He’s one of the most popular personalities and he’s loaned credibility to Toyota’s racing efforts. So we created spots that played to his strengths and had an element of truth to them.”

Dave Ayriss handled art direction; Randy Quan wrote the copy. Harvey Marco served as executive cd.

The spots, in 30- and 60-second iterations, show a small-town Main Street parade at which the Waltrip brothers are honored on separate floats. Coming up from behind, Michael playfully nudges Darrell’s float (“Take some of that, D.W. Let’s get it on!”), which sends the two off to the races, pulling Nascar-style maneuvers as bystanders, Shriners and parade-goers scatter.

The voiceover: “If there’s a way to up the excitement, we’ll find it. Nascar fans: Thanks for having us.” The “Moving forward” tagline closes out the spot.

Art director Ayriss, who has a drag-racing license, and the stunt coordinator, who worked on Dom Sena’s Gone in 60 Seconds, were instrumental in ensuring that the racing maneuvers, however fanciful, were authentic Nascar moves.

John O’Hagan of RSA directed the spots, which effectively shut down Main Street in Cherryville, N.C., for a few days.

“To get to shoot a Nascar spot in Nascar country is really cool, because everyone there is a fan,” said Quan. “One woman in a cafe said her 7-year-old had been a fan since he was ‘knee high to a duck.'”

Print and radio executions that allude to the Waltrip sibling rivalry are also part of the campaign.

“It is about keeping it real, from a fan’s standpoint,” said Quan. “Nascar fans are damn discriminating.”