Toyota

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Toyota Motor Corp. was named Advertiser of the Year in Ad Age's Hispanic Creative Advertising Awards. The first-time honor is based on Toyota's award-winning Spanish-language TV, newspaper, multimedia and online creative work done by three different agencies in the mainland U.S. and Puerto Rico. This year, Toyota won one Gold, three Silver and six Bronze awards.

"Consistently across markets, across agencies and across media the brand shines because it has a clear positioning, unlike many other automakers, and the client is willing to take smart risks," says Luis Miguel Messianu, president of this year's jury and chief creative officer of Del Rivero Messianu DDB, Coral Gables, Fla. "The work is single-minded, relevant and distinctive."

A corporate branding spot asks, "What would mechanics do if all cars were Toyotas?" The fanciful answer is that in the absence of car repairs they would make appliances like toasters and washing machines roadworthy, creating a world where irons get into traffic jams and appliances hog the good parking spaces. Other ads capture distinctive brand attributes and even the personalities of different models with memorable moments. A cleverly art-directed online ad shows off the heft of the Tacoma as the truck plunges down the Internet page. The immense height of the Tundra is highlighted as people in a newspaper ad stretch high up to hand the invisible driver of the invisible vehicle a paper, fast-food and change from tolls.

Toyota also won the only award given in the new Multimedia category, a Bronze for Matrix Musica, a Web site for free Latin music. In Puerto Rico, Toyota works with Badillo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, arguably the island's hottest agency, and online shop Nobox, and is the market leader with a share approaching 70%. On the mainland, Toyota ranks first, with 16.4% of Hispanic new car and truck buyers selecting the marque. Conill is Toyota's Hispanic agency on the mainland, and regional dealerships have shops like Machado/Garcia-Serra, Miami.

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