Why Stop? It’s a new way to see a city car and it has just been claimed by Toyota Yaris Hybrid. The new pan-European campaign was created by The&Partnership Europe and after the year in which everyone stopped, it is a burst of positive energy as well as underlining the benefits of Toyota’s hybrid car.
The campaign film stars defending NCAA floor exercise champion, Katelyn Ohash, as a striking physical metaphor for the Toyota Yaris, another first for car advertising. Ohashi found social media fame during the Collegiate Challenge against California, Michigan State and UC Davis in 2019, when her routine landed a perfect score of 10.0.
The campaign is the next instalment in Toyota’s hybrid leadership platform, building on previous work from The&Partnership, such as RAV4 No Half Measures, Corolla Move Ahead and C-HR Leave Ordinary Behind. The campaign targets younger buyers in a unique way, an important asset in a very competitive segment of the car market.
The full campaign will run across a range of channels and cover an extensive pre-sales period. An accompanying social content series will explore the positive energy that Katelyn Ohashi and the Yaris share. The challenge was to match some of the higher spending campaigns. The communications strategy needed to carry the same ethos as the creative idea, energetic and always on the move, emphasising that the Yaris works hard to maximise efficiency compared to higher spending brands. Consequently, the campaign includes elements such as playlists on Spotify and fitness and wellness podcasts through partners like Acast, where Toyota will be able to build more targeted meaning behind its awareness communications.
Phil Beaumont, creative director, The&Partnership Europe, commented, “The idea needed to attract a new, more youthful audience and change perceptions of Yaris from rational to emotional, from expected to exciting. Seeing Katelyn’s viral routines, so agile and compact, so dynamic and joyful. We felt we’d discovered the perfect embodiment of the New Yaris Hybrid’s unstoppable energy. The next step was to put her routine with all its thrilling energy on the road.”
The production challenge was immense. The commercial was shot in Cape Town, South Africa over five days. Production house, Independent, closed off one of the city’s main boulevards and dressed all of its five blocks to create fully functioning barbers, bakers and fashion boutiques in order to give the setting an appropriately European cosmopolitan feel. Independent director, Philippe Andre, and DOP, Ottar Gudnason, shot on a mixture of Sony Venice and Phantom cameras to capture the choreographed gymnastics routine.
“I was excited to receive the script. I immediately thought it was a fantastic idea. As the narrative is based on Katelyn Ohashi’s performance, I loved the simplicity of focusing on her energy and joy. My approach was to keep the camera solely focused on Katelyn and on the Toyota Yaris. They both had to convey this Unstoppable Energy to make the project feel and look spectacular. I wanted to keep to the truth, the reality of the story; to shoot it as ‘alive’ as possible,” Andre explained.
Executive Creative Director: Andre Moreira
Creative Director: Phil Beaumont
Head of Art: Dan Beckett
Head of Art Buying: Emma Modler
Head of Production: Daniel Healy
Production Assistant: Savannah King
Senior Account Manager: Jonathan Ratcliffe
Planner: Paul Porter
Social Media Planner: Martina Mattioni
Media Planner: Tina Chou
Audience Planners: Stuart Johnstone & Simon Lirzin
Production Company: Independent
Director: Philippe Andre
Producer: Ciska Faulkner
Executive Producer: Jani Guest
Service Company: Farm Film
Producer: Peter Sherlock
Editor: Adam Rudd @ Whitehouse Post
Photographer: He & Me / Samuel Hicks
Stills Production Company: Cape Town Productions
Retoucher: Holger Egbers
Post Production: The Mill & Alumina Studios
Post Production Producer: Alex Fitzgerald, Dan Crozier (The Mill), David Thomas (Alumina Studios)
Colour & Grade: Alex Gregory
2D Lead: Zoe Cosh
2D Compositing: Dan Adams, Pete Atack
CG: Marta Carbonell
Shoot Supervisor: Heiko Von Fintel
Sound Design: Sam Ashwell & James Cobbold
Music Company: Birdbrain
Voiceover: Katelyn Ohashi