Toyota is putting the spotlight on togetherness for its 2022 holiday campaign, unveiling a heartwarming pair of commercials this week that underscore just how family and friends can unite to make the Christmas season a meaningful one.
Dubbed “Like No One’s Watching,” the first ad was created by Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles, the automaker’s longtime agency of record, and stars Clara, a selfless cashier who works over the holidays and expects to spend Christmas alone before being surrounded by her loving neighbors (and customers) who’ve been impacted by her acts of kindness.
The friendship-themed spot was directed by “Hidden Figures” creator and Oscar nominee Ted Melfi and debuted earlier this week in its 60-second format during NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” TV special.
The long-form version of the ad will also air on NBC properties including during the “Today” show on Thursday, Dec. 1, and Sunday Night Football on Sunday, Dec. 4, the company confirmed. An abridged 30-second cut of “Like No One’s Watching” will then roll out nationally on Dec. 10 with integrations on TV, in movie theaters and on out-of-home platforms.
The second commercial, titled “The Search,” uses both English and Spanish dialogue and focuses on a young girl and her "abuelo" searching for Santa’s house in the snowy woods. But after mistakenly navigating to a woman’s cabin, the grandfather suggests that the girl’s hand-drawn map may be upside down, and the two continue their search.
The ad closes with the Spanish-language tagline “Juntos la magia existe,” or “Together magic exists” in English.
Created by Conill Advertising, the 60-second spot geared towards Hispanic consumers plugs Toyota’s Sequoia SUV. Both 60- and 30-second versions will run on TV via networks including Univision, Telemundo and Discovery en Español, as well as in theaters from Dec. 16 through Dec. 29.
“Toyota’s holiday message focuses on simple acts of kindness and encourages people to connect with their communities this holiday season,” Lisa Materazzo, group VP of Toyota marketing for Toyota Motor North America, said in a statement. “We hope this heartwarming message will inspire viewers to spread kindness, during the holidays and beyond.”
Anyone even remotely familiar with Toyota’s advertising will likely recognize that heartwarming themes and stories of perseverance and generosity tend to take center stage in its marquee ads, with its actual vehicles sometimes being little more than well-placed props—as was the case with Toyota’s holiday marketing push last year.
In fact, 2021’s seasonal campaign bears some striking resemblances to what Toyota is up to now. Last year, the company also created a pair of ads: one titled “Bookstore” from Saatchi & Saatchi that was also directed by Ted Melfi, and one Hispanic-centric spot known as “Nora’s Joy” that was created by Conill.
In step with Toyota’s holiday campaign rollout, the company is also partnering with the National Center for Families Learning and the Kids In Need Foundation to provide supply boxes for teachers at five “under-resourced” school districts that’ll include notebooks, pencils, folders and more, the company said.