Toyota Prius Is ‘Heck on Wheels’ in Revamped Hybrid’s Amusingly Campy Super Bowl Work

Saatchi L.A. teaser calls the vehicle a 'badass'

Headshot of Tim Nudd

The Toyota Prius has been called many things, but never a "badass." Until now.

The automaker is bringing the Prius to the Super Bowl for the first time in 11 years, beginning with the amusing 90-second teaser spot below, which comically positions the upgraded hybrid as a road-conquering dragster for the 9-to-5 set.

The spot's eminently milquetoast protagonist is bland in every way, until he gets behind the wheel of his Prius, which brightens up his dull existence with a dose of power and attitude. He squeals through his neighborhood, singing the car's praises—to looks of surprise, horror and, eventually, admiration from onlookers. 

The car, says the song's refrain, is "heck on wheels." The hashtag is #GoPriusGo.

The teaser was made by Saatchi & Saatchi in Los Angeles—with helps from Park Pictures directing duo Terri Timely and music shop Butter Music + Sound—and advertises the hybrid leader's upgraded performance, fresh suite of safety technology features and sleek new styling, according to the automaker. 

The in-game spot, also by Saatchi L.A., will be a 90-second spot during the two-minute warning of the second quarter. That commercial is expected to be new creative and not a retooled version of this teaser. It will feature a Twitter tie-in, where viewers who use the #GoPriusGo hashtag will have a chance to have their tweet featured in a "live commercial" airing in one of Toyota's post-game spots.

This is Toyota's fifth consecutive year advertising on the Super Bowl.

See the full lyrics of the "Heck on Wheels" spot below.

Toyota Prius "Heck on Wheels"


Well, my name is Todd, and I've got a job workin' for the man from 9 to 5.

But when I'm on the road, feelin' bad and bold, it's the only time I feel alive.

They can't believe what their eyes have seen. Never thought a Prius could feel so badass.

It's hybrid mayhem on the road, and goes a bunch of friggin' miles on so little gas! It's heck on wheels! I just don't give a dang.

Heck on wheels!

Sorry, baby! It corners like a boomerang!

When Johnny Law is comin' after you, but he's not after you, so you let him through, cause Johnny Law just pass you right on by!

Yeah, this mutha-truckin' ride is keepin' it safe, so now I don't spill my chai!

Heck on wheels!

Come on! Yeah!

Talkin' 'bout heck on wheels!

Heck on wheeeeeeeeeels!

Go Prius Go!

• For more Super Bowl 50 news, check out Adweek's Super Bowl Ad Tracker, an up-to-date list of the brands running Super Bowl spots and the agencies involved in creating them.

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.