Toyota launches ‘Drive Happy Project’ to redefine new car buying experience

Toyota has launched the ‘Drive Happy Project’ which wants to transform the way Kiwis buy and own a new car.

Saatchi & Saatchi has created a campaign to bring the project to life, personifying the five car buying “bothers” Toyota hopes to change, through animated monsters created by Alt.VFX.  

In the 90-second ad, the five bothers – such as the ‘stress drive’ bother and the ‘I just can’t get away to buy a car’ bother – cajole, hassle and annoy potential car buyers, before the Toyota dealer steps in with its car buying experience.

To find out the five top bothers, Toyota commissioned research which identified the likes and dislikes about the current buying experience. The top five, according to the survey, were haggling over price, hard sell from salespeople, the time involved in customisation, the test drive experience and buyer’s remorse.

Toyota has introduced changes including a transparent drive-away price including all on road costs, consistent nationwide, seven-day money back options, flexible test drive options from a larger pool of demonstrator vehicles at every Toyota store, the ability to customise vehicles online, and, a no pressure, more hospitable sales environment.

Andrew Davis, Toyota New Zealand’s general manager of marketing, says the company wants to put the pleasure back into buying a new vehicle.

“With the Toyota Drive Happy Project we are focussing on a more customer-centric approach to the entire ownership experience.”

Chief creative officer of Saatchi & Saatchi Toby Talbot says the project has been many years in the making for Toyota.

“The ‘Drive Happy Project’ is a bold and exciting move. The challenging part, was how to bring those apprehensions people face every day to life. In ‘the Bothers’, I think we have struck a fine balance of relatable fears with a surreal and memorable manifestation of those fears. We’re hoping it will bring comfort to every trepidacious car buyer out there.”   


Client: Toyota New Zealand
Creative Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand
Production Company: Robber’s Dog
Director: Adam Stevens
VFX Animation/VFX: Alt.VFX
End-frame graphics: Assembly Ltd. GFX
Sound Design: Franklin Rd
Music Composition: Turning Studios
Media Agency: Starcom

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