Ad of the Day: Toyota

A man and his truck—and their epic tale of love, loss, and redemption

Headshot of Emma Bazilian

There's nothing manly men love more than enormous, stuff-hauling pickup trucks, if advertisements are any indication. In its latest spot for Toyota, Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney pokes a bit of fun at the man-truck relationship with a heartbreaking tale of love, loss, and despair.

Tragedy strikes early in this story when a Toyota HiLux pickup truck, while being loaded full of lumber by its rugged owner, rolls down a hill and over a cliff to a watery demise. For the man, it's not just the loss of a car—it's an existential crisis-inducing loss of a beloved companion. Cue the melodramatic misery montage, set to Player's 1977 classic "Baby Come Back." (Its opening line about a "mask of false bravado" speaks particularly well to the truck-ad genre.) The man can barely function, so tormented is he by flashbacks to happier times chopping wood, pulling down large structures, and doing other stereotypical pickup-truck-ad activities with his four-wheeled "baby." Finally, standing alone in the pouring rain, he breaks. But his Toyota won't let him down that easily. As the man strolls past the site of the accident, a shell of his former self, he discovers his true love waiting for him on the beach—and apart from a little water under the seats, she's in surprisingly good shape for having fallen off a cliff into saltwater. (I think it's safe to assume Toyota isn't trying to convince people that its trucks can survive a 1,000-foot fall unscathed, though one YouTube commenter predicts, "Unfortunately, it'll get pulled as it'll be deemed 'misleading.'")

With truck commercials rarely straying from the usual gruff narration about horsepower, even if Toyota's spot doesn't technically explain what makes the HiLux so special (apart from its cliff-diving capabilities), it's nice to see a pickup spot that doesn't take itself too seriously. And let's face it, it's probably the only one you'll remember for more than five minutes.


Client: Toyota Australia

Divisional Manager, Marketing: Scott Thompson

Corporate Manager, Marketing: Adrian Weimers

Manager, Advertising: Noni Rosengren

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Sydney, Australia

Creative Director: Steve Carlin

Copywriter/Art Director: Jon Burden

Art Director: Simon Cox

Group Business Director: Ben Court

Senior Business Director: Amy Turnbull

TV Producer: Llew Griffiths

Executive Director: Steve Anastasiadis

Production Company: Robbers Dog

Director: Adam Stevens

Production Co Producer: Mark Foster

Media Agency: The Media Store

@adweekemma Emma Bazilian is Adweek's features editor.
Publish date: September 23, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT