Surf’s Up in Tacoma’s ‘Tide’

LOS ANGELES Toyota Motor Sales will break a new spot for the Tacoma truck during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl, a company representative said.

The 30-second “Tide” shows a kayaker on what appears to be a frame-skipping, surf-watch Webcam. As he paddles off, the Tacoma is swept up by the surf, bashed on the rocks, then submerged. By the time the kayaker returns, the water has receded and the truck is in the same location where the young man left it, unscathed. A title card reads “Tacoma\Invincible” before the “Moving forward” tag appears.

The spot follows the theme of previous commercials: a Tacoma is struck by a meteor and survives, and the Cannes Lion-winning “Girlfriend,” in which the truck is tossed off a cliff by a disgruntled ex, but rolls upright and undamaged.

Harvey Marco, executive creative director at Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi, Torrance, Calif., said the spot is tailored to a Super Bowl audience of “guys who want a truck they can have fun in and not worry about it breaking down.”

Steve Chavez was the creative director, Dino Spadavecchia served as associate creative director (art), and Greg Farley is credited as the copywriter.

Despite Toyota’s unprecedented five launches in the coming year, Marco said the Super Bowl remained Tacoma territory for “trucks, guys and comedy . . . In the midsize truck category, and for the target we are talking to, no one has the equity that we have in quality dependability and reliability.”

The automaker spent $75 million advertising the Tacoma in 2004 and $65 million through November 2005, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Torrance, Calif.-based Toyota sold 169,000 Tacomas in 2005, up 10 percent over the prior year, according to Car Concepts, Thousand Oaks, Calif.