Vision Q&A: A Little of that Human Touch

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Sure, after a spot like "Happiness Factory," it's difficult to look at any behind-the-scenes type spot the same. That said, Copenhagen's Wibroe, Duckert & Partners gives us a lush, whimsical peek at how the Toyota fleet is made, all to the tune of Blondie's classic toe-tapper "Heart of Glass." We spoke with creative and director Rasmus Laumann about the concept and how he made it a reality.

What was the brief for this spot?
In Denmark, Toyota is known as a reliable car. But its price went up by 20 percent while other manufacturers didn't, so the client felt it needed to bring some emotional connection to the brand. The brief was basically to focus on the emotional qualities instead of just the rational benefits of the cars.

Where did the factory concept come from?
Well, obviously setting something in a factory is nothing special now; it's been done tons of times. That said, it's a nice simple way to show what you want and we had to feature many different models. So after seeing Coke's "Happiness Factory" and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory it just felt obvious to try and make our own. We're aware it's not the most clever idea but it was a great way to focus on the features we found most important– safety, environment and the human touch. Human touch clearly comes from showing humans instead of robots and there is no other car in the world that is worked on by so many human hands before it hits the street than a Toyota.

What were your overall goals for the spot?
We wanted to show the consumer that a Toyota is made with dedication and devotion, so the goal was to make the consumer feel that Toyota is not only a wise choice in terms of reliability, it's also a cool car. It's not only for those who already own a Toyota, but also the younger [audience] who wants a cool car, not just a car that will last a life time.

Which part was the biggest challenge?
I'd say putting together the segment with all the airbags. About 50 percent of the room is real and the rest was green screen. It was challenging because green screens don't allow much room for improvising and some poor VFX guy has to sort it out for you.
Overall, one of the most difficult parts was the mental pressure because this is one of the more expensive spots shot in Denmark and I came up with the idea and directed it. There would've been no one else to blame if it got fucked up.

Which parts were real in that segment?
The actor really did dive off a platform that was about 12 meters (almost 40 feet) high onto a mat. Then we built a platform for about 20 airbags and extended it with VFX from there.

We really liked the yaris dirt track part.
Yeah, that's my favorite, too. You'd be surprised how big you have to build something to make a car look that small. We had to bring in many tons of dirt and built set extensions, but 75 percent of what you see is actually there. We filmed it in an airplane hangar because no studios in Denmark were big enough. So we took out the planes and brought in our dirt.
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