Saatchi, Toyota Redefine Baby Boomers’ Lives

LOS ANGELES Parents witnessing a college graduation envision the good life without the kids around in a Toyota Highlander spot breaking tonight in spot markets, with a national break next week.

The spot, by Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi, Torrance, Calif., is part of the agency’s “Moving Forward” shift to more emotional advertising messages.It reinstates one of Toyota’s venerable ad motifs when the couple, imagining a future of snowboarding, nightlife and outdoor adventure, jumps for joy during the ceremony as the commencement speech inadvertently addresses their fantasies.

“For the many roads ahead, the smooth-riding, versatile Highlander” is the tagline.

“We are showcasing the Highlander’s roomy, sophisticated interior, but this opens up the next chapter on the emotional strategy for all of our advertising,” said Harvey Marco, executive creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi. “The idea is to get a little bit of humor out of baby boomers’ stories. These people have had their career and family and have reached a point where the nest is starting to empty out. The Highlander defines a role in people’s lives.”

Toyota Motors, also in Torrance, spent $640 million on advertising in 2003 and $590 million through October 2004, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.