Draftfcb ‘Smiles Ahead’ For Toyota Etios

Posted: June 19, 2012

Three South Africans who had no idea they were being filmed feature in the television commercial devised by Draftfcb Johannesburg to launch the new Toyota Etios.

Intended to fill the gap in the Toyota range left by the discontinued Toyota Tazz, the Etios has been designed to put the proverbial ‘smile on its owner’s dial’ with its great ‘smilage’; standard service plan, air conditioner and power steering, as well as ABS brakes, EBD and driver and passenger airbags.

The agency’s Toyota Group strategist, Justin Cloete, therefore briefed the creative team to develop a concept that would position the Etios as ‘smiles ahead’ and appeal to adults between the ages of 22 and 34 in the 7-8 and A/B LSM and income markets.

To drive home the enjoyment of travelling in an Etios, executive creative director James Cloete; creative director Tian van den Heever; art directors Danni Meneghin and Nivedhna Maniduti; and copywriter Liam Galt opted to steer away from the standard motor vehicle TVC.

The TV ad they created strives to highlight that the Etios is fun, light-hearted and unexpected – in other words, ‘here to make you smile’.

Explained Cloete: “Of course, simply driving an Etios is enough to put that smile on your dial. Our idea was to take that experience and make it larger than life, more fun, more light-hearted and more unexpected.

“Together with production house, Groundglass, we devised a test drive unlike any other. Using infra-red technology, we activated jack-in-the-box type of special effects along the route. We also populated certain sections with cartoon characters and messages of happiness.

“We secretly filmed the drivers’ reaction and – as you can see – there were smiles all round. In fact, the end of the test drive route virtually exploded with joy – there’s a rainbow, rockets spewing coloured smoke, fuzzy animals, balloons, ribbons … and a snappy soundtrack performed by Tamara Dey of Flash Republic.”

The TVC was shot over three days outside of Heidelberg. It launched on national TV on Friday, May 25 after a two-week long teaser campaign using streetpole ads that had primed the audience for the arrival of the Etios.

Toyota SA’s Senior Manager: Marketing Communications and Planning, Pieter Klerck, is pleased with the result.

“Getting Draftfcb’s creative concept to reflect accurately and strongly was always going to be a challenge because we needed our test drivers’ genuine reactions to make the final execution believable and likeable.

“I’m confident the team has cracked it, and I’m certain drivers everywhere – no matter which car they own – will be hoping to experience some of that Etios happiness when they’re out on the roads. The solution is simple: if you don’t see rainbow arches or a chicken chasing an egg; get your smile from the Etios.”

The TVC is being supported by print executions, outdoor hoardings, a radio commercial and an online campaign and competition which can be experienced on www.etios.co.za.