Toyota's Olympics Campaign Evokes 'Hands Across America'

Automaker Says It Is Not Intentionally Alluding to 1986 Pop Culture Moment

Published On
Aug 05, 2016

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Toyota does not take over as a global Olympics sponsor until next year. So for the Rio games, the automaker must still comply with strict trademark restrictions on Olympic phrases and imagery.

But in a new ad debuting during NBC's coverage of Friday night's opening ceremony, the automaker comes about as close as it can to portraying what looks like an Olympic ceremony without breaking the rules. The spot by Saatchi & Saatchi, L.A., opens with a medal ceremony, including three athletes on a podium. But keen observers will notice that the scene, which was shot in Morocco, depicts not the Olympics but a fictional event called the "friendship tournament," according to signs in the stadium.

The medal scene is only a small part of the TV commercial, which is part of a larger campaign themed "Stand Together." The spot goes on to show people holding hands in cities, neighborhoods, at a church, at a beach, in the desert and at a Toyota plant, accompanied by The Spencer Davis Group's "Gimme Some Lovin'" as a soundtrack. One scene shows plummeting skydivers holding hands.

The ad is evocative of the "Hands Across America" charitable event in 1986 that sought to create a human chain from New York to Southern California.

A Toyota spokesman said the marketer is not purposely recalling the 1986 event. But Toyota does have its own charitable component. The campaign will encourage people to create their own videos of people holding hands and share it on social media using "#LetsJoinHands." For each video, Toyota will donate $20 to United Way, up to $250,000. The marketer will also mix the user-generated content into pre-roll and social videos.

Read more about Toyota's campaign on


Aug 05, 2016
Brand :
Client :
Agency :
Saatchi & Saatchi-Los Angeles
Chief Creative Officer :
Jason Schragger
Executive Creative Director :
Fabio Costa
Creative Director :
Leo Circo
Creative Director :
Chris Pierantozzi
Associate Creative Director, Art Director :
Kevin Schroeder
Associate Creative Director, Art Director :
Jeremy Carson
Associate Creative Director, Copywriter :
Randy Quan
Associate Creative Director, Copywriter :
Dan Sorgen
Executive Director, Integrated Production and Operations :
Lalita Koehler
Director, Content :
Sara Seibert
Executive Content Producer :
Pamela Parsons
Senior Content Producer :
Jennifer Vogtmann
Content Producer :
Marina Korzon
Executive Digital Producer :
Tarrah Barbour
Associate Producer :
Kat Olschnegger
Business Affairs Director :
Keli Christy
Business Affairs Manager :
Erin D'Angelo
Project Manager :
Angela Montoya
Group Account Director :
Steve Sluk
Group Account Director :
Bryan DeSena
Account Director :
Patrick Young
Account Supervisor :
Joshua Phillips
Account Executive :
Brad Sanders
Assistant Account Executive :
Kate Jensen
Assistant Account Executive :
Natalie Johnson
Social Engagement :
Allie Burrow
Director, Public Relations :
Mike Cooperman
Group Planning Director :
Evan Ferrari
Senior Planner :
Julienne Lin
Senior Planner :
Shaunt Halebian
Executive Communications Director :
John Lisko
Director, Paid Media :
Chris Nicholls
Earned Media Director :
Romina Bongiovanni
Associate Director, Social Media :
Karen Ram
Social Media Supervisor :
Talia DiDomenica
Digital Media Supervisor :
Helen Burdett
Digital Media Supervisor :
Sarah Buchalter
Media Planner :
Mitchell Gilbert
Social Media Assistant :
Patrick Butcher
Group Vice President, Marketing :
Jack Hollis
Vice President, Marketing Communications :
Cooper Ericksen
Corporate Manager :
Jim Mooney
Corporate Manager :
Scott Thompson
Brand Communications Manager :
Russ Koble
National Manager :
Mia Phillips
Brand, Multicultural and Crossline Marketing Strategy :
Mia Phillips
Brand and Multicultural Manager :
Landy Joe
Social Media Marketing Manager :
Florence Drakton
Production Company :
Anonymous Content
Senior Executive Producer :
Gina Zapata
Executive Producer :
SueEllen Clair
Production :
SueEllen Clair
Head of Production :
Kerry Haynie
Line Producer :
Brian Etting
Director :
Chris Sargent
Director, Photography :
Andre Chemetoff
Editing Company :
Work Editorial
Executive Producer :
Marlo Baird
Producer :
Tita Poe
Editor :
Stewart Reeves
Assistant Editor :
Brian Meagher
Visual Effects :
Visual Effects Supervisor :
Andy McKenna
CG Supervisor :
Andy Wilkoff
2D Artist :
Cameron Coombs
2D Artist :
Michael Vagilenty
2D Artist :
Adam Flynn
2D Artist :
Rod Basham
2D Artist :
Gavin Camp
2D Artist :
Michael Plescia
Finishing :
Kevin Stokes
Finishing :
Gabe Sanchez
Matte Painter :
Dark Hoffman
Matte Painter :
Marissa Krupen
3D Artist :
Tom Briggs
3D Artist :
Dustin Mellum
3D Artist :
Kirk Shintani
3D Artist :
Josh Dyer
3D Artist :
Jon Balcome
3D Artist :
Manny Guizar
3D Artist :
Michael Cardenas
3D Artist :
Michael Bettinardi
3D Artist :
Joseph Chiechi
Animator :
Earl Burnley
Producer :
Stacy Kessler-Aungst
Head of Production :
Kim B. Christensen
Executive Producer :
Patrick Nugent
Telecine :
Telecine :
Paul Yacono
Music :
Gimme Some Lovin
Music :
Steve Winwood
Music Supervision :
Music Supervisor :
Kristen Hosack
Music Supervisor :
Sound Design :
Barking Owl
Mix :
Mix :
Peter Rincon

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