The Toyota Corolla, which is Canada's best-selling car, is not the kind of product one would associate with a lesbian-kiss scene-even in that relatively ad-edgy country. But that's the case in a recent spot from Saatchi & Saatchi/Toronto, the final installment in a series of five commercials that are identical except for the reveal. All show a father and daughter sitting on their porch, discussing the daughter's new love interest, whom she denies is "just like all the others." A Corolla pulls up, and Dad goes inside, exclaiming, "I like him." The spots, directed by Erich Joiner out of Toronto's Imported Artists, premiered during consecutive commercial breaks during the season premiere of The Bachelor, showing a different suitor in the car each time, starting with a geek, then a rocker, triplets and finally a woman.
"There was a lot of chatter, because people started comparing the endings of the spots and looking for the ones they hadn't seen," says Saatchi ECD Brett Channer. The emotional sell, for a car previously sold as reliable and affordable, was a fresh tack for the Corolla. "It says a lot about the brand appeal and the audience," he adds, noting that Canada is moving toward legalizing gay marriage this summer. While he's proud to be able to broach this potentially touchy subject, "what I'm most proud of is that it's not a typical car commercial with typical car shots. It's all based on an understanding with the client and consumer."
Client: Toyota Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi/Toronto ECD/CW: Brett Channer AD: Doug Bramah Director: Erich Joiner/Imported Artists, Tool of North America Editor: Chris van Dyke/School Editing, Toronto