Toyota’s heartwarming holiday spots focus on acts of kindness

The pair of ads, one targeting Hispanic consumers, show the strength of both friendships and family ties

Published On
Dec 02, 2022

Editor's Pick

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.


Dec 02, 2022
Client :
Agency :
Saatchi & Saatchi-LA
Chief Creative Officer :
Jason Schragger
Group Creative Director :
Sandra Luciano
Group Creative Director :
Leo Circo
ACD Art Director :
Logan Sheets
ACD Copywriter :
Tess Maguire
Chief Production Officer :
Lalita Koehler
Group Director of Content Production :
Dogan Dattilo
Director of Content Production :
Pamela Parsons
Director of Content Production :
Rodrigo Vargas
Retail Executive Producer :
Jennifer Vogtmann
Executive Producer :
Richard Bendetti
Senior Content Producer :
Grace Wang
Senior Music Supervisor :
Kristen Hosack
Music Coordinator :
Tanisha Edwards
Associate Content Producer :
Alex Hernandez
Agency Communications Director :
Paula Adams
Managing Director :
Al Reid
Management Director :
Erica Baker
Client Operations Lead :
Lauren Messina
Management Supervisor :
Brooke Boston
Client Partnership Supervisor :
Natasha Walker
Client Partnership Manager :
Marc Villanueva
Client Partnership Assistant Manager :
Rose Eliz
Client Partnership Coordinator :
Nick Han
Chief Strategy Officer :
Mark Turner
Client Partner Product Information :
Rey Raymundo
Executive Communications Director :
John Lisko
Group Director Earned Media & Public Relations :
Jana Hartline
Director PR :
Kimberly Harms
Director Broadcast Traffic :
Nadzyah Guillermo
Director Business Affairs :
Linda Daubson
Senior Business Affairs Manager :
Kathi Bolliger
Group Vice President, Marketing :
Lisa Materazzo
Vice President Vehicle Marketing & Communications :
Michael Tripp
National Manager :
Shawn Caso
Manager :
Tye Cannon
Planner :
Davina Hobbs
Production Company :
Executive Producer :
Rich Carter
Managing Partner :
Rich Carter
Producer :
Marsie Wallach
Director :
Ted Melfi
Director of Photography :
Newton Thomas Seigel
Editing Company :
Executive Producer :
Crissy DeSimone
Producer :
Wendy Umanzor
Editor :
Kim Bica
Assistant Editor :
Paulo Miramontes
Telecine/Color Grade :
Company 3
Color Artist :
Jill Bogdanowicz
Finishing / VFX :
Creative Director :
Christian Nielsen
Senior Producer :
Susan Harris
VFX Supervisor/Shoot Supervisor :
Chris Beers
Finishing Producer :
Jose Alvarado
Executive Producer :
Brittney Walker
Music Arrangement & Composition :
Andrew Simple
Sound Design :
Lime Studios
Mix :
Lime Studios
Agency :
Chief Creative Officer :
Veronica Elizondo
ACD Art Director :
Alejandro Egozcue
ACD Copywriter :
Nicolas Soto
ACD Copywriter :
Daniel Del Toro
VP Director of Production :
Carlos Barciela
Director Content Production :
Krysta Rosales
Sr Producer :
Amber Ventris
VP Director Business Affairs :
Valentina Dostal
Business Affairs Supervisor :
Maria Bardales
SVP/Director of Team, Content and Platform :
Sandy Mayer
Project Manager :
Jacob Munoz
Managing Director :
Ana Rodriguez
VP Management Director :
Anabel Ordonez
Account Director :
Courtney Corbett
Account Supervisor :
Callie Parish
Account Executive :
Andy Garcia
VP Media Director :
Diana Stumvoll
Group Media Director :
William Formeca
Media Supervisor :
Alexandra Contreras
Associate Media Director :
Nancy Bueno-Shoats
Chief Strategy Officer :
Laura Semple
VP Group Director of Strategic Planning :
Alejandro Oszust
Associate Planning Director :
Caroline Hayward
SVP Chief Communications Officer :
Chris Traina
Director of PR :
Delia Lopez
Senior Manager :
Shawn Caso
Manager :
Tye Cannon
Retail Analyst :
Davina Hobbs
General Manager :
Scott Wracher
Production Company :
The Corner Shop
Director :
Peter Thwaites
Director of Photography :
Adam Arkapaw
Production Designer :
Brock Houghton
Executive Producer :
Jay Shapiro
Line Producer :
Susie Greene-Tedesco
Editing Company :
Work Editorial
Editor :
Stewart Reeves
Executive Producer :
Remy Foxx
Producer :
Gabrielle Page
Assistant Editor :
Jennifer Losch
Color Grade :
Company 3
Color Artist :
Tom Poole
Senior Producer Short Form :
Shannen Trout
Executive Producer :
Connor Callaghan
VFX & Finishing :
Company 3
Lead Flame Artist :
Wensen Ho
VFX Supervisor :
Vernon Wilbert
Flame Artist :
Sean Wilson
Flame Artist :
Cecile Tecson
Matte Painting :
Brandon Rachel
Lead CG :
Kyle Martin
Set Supervisor :
John Goffoni
Finishing Producer :
Brian Buxton
Executive Producer :
Connor Callaghan
Music Arrangement & Composition :
Asche & Spencer
Sound Company :
Lime Studios
Sound Design :
Michael Anastasi
Sound Mix :
Dave Wagg
Producer :
Cassie Underwood
Producer :
Michael Baran
Executive Producer :
Susie Boyajan

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