Will Style Sell Celica? — Saatchi Takes New Routes for Toyota Celica, Other Models in ’94 Campaign

TORRANCE, CALIF. – Saatchi & Saatchi/Pacific rolls out a new campaign for Toyota Motor Co.’s Celica this week – an attempt to reposition the car based on its styling, calling the Celica ‘one of the most visually distinctive automobiles you have ever seen.’
The rest of the 1994 model year campaign spreads a mix of messages over Toyota’s various nameplates, hitting leasing, made-in-America and quality themes. But it also includes a jaunty parody of one competitor’s ads and a direct assault on Saturn, points that will likely be seen as shots fired in the pitched battle for market share.
Toyota’s Tercel ads, with spending pegged at more than $12 million, take off on recent work from Venice, Calif.-shop Chiat/Day for Infiniti. A man dressed in black gives the sales pitch. But this guy wears tennis shoes and pokes fun at luxury lines with a pronouncement that ‘the best luxury is peace of mind.’
‘It’s a humorous way to communicate a lot of the appealing features,’ said Toyota spokesman Michael Krems.
The Tercel ads – along with those for Corolla – also take aim at Saturn and its no-dicker sticker program, offering a value package of options.
Toyota’s truck line gets a new sub-theme via a voiceover that plays on the longtime ‘I love what you do for me’ theme with this variation: ‘You gotta love ’em.’
Through September, Toyota’s car sales are 0.3% off last year’s pace, while trucks are up 3.6%, according to J.D. Power & Associates. Warren Benjamin, director of client services at Saatchi, said the carmaker will mount an ‘aggressive’ campaign this year. Though there are fewer executions, the media frequency has been increased.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)