Old QBs Never Fade Away, They Just Do More TV

What’s an out-of-work athlete to do these days? If you’re former San Francisco 49er quarterback Steve Young, you keep making commercials.

Young, much like part-time endorser and former 49er QB Joe Montana, is back on the air again. On his old home turf in the Bay Area, he is reprising his annual role as on-camera spokesman for the Northern California Toyota dealers.

Young stars in three new television spots, each of which shows him in domestic situations. The commercials broke last week and will continue through the spring on network and cable programs.

“Steve Young was the perfect choice,” said Sharon Krinsky,creative director at Hoffman/Lewis in San Francisco. “Steve and Toyota dealers share the same brandequities—they are both reliable, solid citizens.”

In one of the spots, titled “Dog Days,” Young is shown going camping with his friend Geoff and several dogs.

Just as Young brags about how much space his Toyota truck has, Geoff is seen in the backseat, his face being licked by the dogs.

As the ad closes, Geoff jokes that he “called shotgun.”

Another commercial plays on Young’s football career. In it, Young is shown returning home after a game of basketball with his nephew in a four-wheel drive Toyota RAV4. When the nephew asks Young “a question everyone probably asks him,” Young begins to shout out possible questions, such as “What was it like to be MVP?” After Young is done speaking, the nephew says he was only wondering if they could drive off-road.

The final spot is set in a car wash, where an older woman takes a liking to Young when she learns that he is “retired.”

The campaign media budget was not disclosed.

Hoffman/Lewis has approximately $85 million in annual billings. Other clients on its Northern California roster include Bank of the West, Rodney Strong Vineyards and McDonald’s.

The agency has worked with the regional Toyota dealers since 1989. Young has been a pitchman for the client since 1995.