Chuck Norris Gets Replaced by Truck Norris in This Wonderfully Over-the-Top Toyota Spot

Saatchi goes places with its playful new campaign

Chuck Norris' autograph turns a Toyota Tacoma into an action star. - Credit by Toyota
Headshot of David Griner

Chuck Norris is no stranger to advertising, but it’s rare we see him not throwing a roundhouse kick or being portrayed as a meme-era Paul Bunyan capable of impossibly epic deeds. (His last ad appearance, for UnitedHealthcare, happily leaned into both.)

This time around, Norris is selling the Toyota Tacoma, billed in the spot as being “tough as Chuck.” Saatchi and Saatchi thankfully skips the tropes of spinning kicks and “Chuck Norris facts,” instead creating an enjoyably bizarre scenario where Norris’ signature imbues a truck with the power to surf, climb trees and (of course) defeat criminals in hand-to-door combat.

The spot has its own action-comedy pedigree of note: Director Andreas Nilsson of Biscuit Filmworks also created the famed Volvo Trucks spot “Epic Split,” featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme. Obviously Nilsson is the one to call if you want to make the most of a retro action hero.

The new campaign, “Let’s Go Places,” uses Toyota vehicles to replace a variety of other people and animals beyond just Chuck Norris. While each spot centers on one type of ride, they end with beauty shots of each model in the new Toyota lineup.

“This multi-model campaign approach allows Toyota to reach targeted audiences with a variety of products rolled under one over-arching campaign,” says Ed Laukes, group vice president of marketing at Toyota North America. “By showcasing multiple models in a single spot, we can reach the right customer without a lull between individual vehicle campaigns.”

Check out some of the other spots and credits below:


“Tough as Chuck”

Client: Toyota Motor North America, U.S.A., Inc.

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
Chief Creative Officer: Jason Schragger
Group Creative Director: Marc d’Avignon
Creative Director: Kevin Samuels
ACD Art Director: Andrew Reizuch
ACD Copywriter: Dan Sorgen
Art Director: Mattei Robison
Executive Director, Integrated Production: Lalita Koehler
Director of Content Production: Sara Seibert
Executive Producer: Richard Bendetti
Senior Producer: Marina Korzon
Senior Integrated Producer: Holly Otto
Music Supervisor: Kristen Hosack
Director of Project Management: Angela Montoya
Senior Project Manager: Vonia Arslanian
Managing Director: Al Reid
Group Account Director: Andrew Corpman
Group Account Director: Courtney Husk
Account Director: Carla Weaver
Account Supervisor: Chelsey White
Account Executive: Katie Martin
Assistant Account Executive: Priscilla Mon
Chief Strategy Officer: Mark Turner
Managing Director, Connection & Insight Strategy: Don Longfellow
Group Director, Connection & Insight Strategy: Evan Ferrari

Executive Communications Director: John Lisko
Group Media Director: Tom Scott
Director, Media Communications: Breanne Carpenter
Group Director, Earned Media & Public Relations: Romina Bongiovanni
Associate Director, Public Relations: Kimberly Harms
Broadcast Traffic: Nadzyah Guillermo
Director, Business Affairs: Linda Daubson
Sr. Business Affairs Manager: Kathi Bolliger
Talent Payment Manager: Priscilla Rocha
Director of Product Information: Matt Hardesty

Group Vice President, Toyota Marketing: Ed Laukes
Vice President, Vehicle Marketing and Communication: Lisa Materazzo
General Manager, Brand/Cross Vehicle Line/TDA/Education: Scott Wracher
National Manager, Brand and Multicultural Marketing: Siani Kiyonaga
Manager, Brand and Multicultural Marketing: Ernesto Del Aguila
Senior Brand Marketing Analyst: Brock Cartlidge
Brand Marketing Analyst: Sam Adams

Production: Biscuit Filmworks
Executive Producer: Holly Vega
Founding Partner / Managing Director: Shawn Lacy
Line Producer: Kathy Rhodes
Director: Andreas Nilsson
Director of Photography: Peter Deming

Editing: RPS
Executive Producer: Rana Martin
Producer: Cristina Matracia
Editor: Olivier Bugge Coutte
Telecine: A52
Color Artist: Paul Yacono
Finish: A52
Visual Effects Supervisor / Lead Compositor: Jesse Monsour
Finishing Producer: Drew Rissman
Executive Producer: Kim Christensen
Special Effects: A52
Original Music by Mophonics
Sound Design: Kim Christensen @Noises Digital
Mix: Rohan @Lime Studios

@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."
Publish date: August 17, 2018 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT