Toyota and Saatchi & Saatchi put Dai Henwood’s comedy skills—and automotive stereotypes— to good use

Toyota is one of the country’s most trusted brands and has been a regular on the Reader’s Digest list (despite a couple of high-profile international recalls in recent years). This is a big part of the reason it’s still top of the pops when it comes to overall sales. And it’s playing on that trust—and on the fear people have of being ripped off by automotive cowboys—in a new campaign via Saatchi & Saatchi for its Genuine Parts business that sees Dai Henwood taking a leaf out of the Eddie Murphy/Martin Lawrence acting book and playing three different characters. 

The ‘ask someone who tows’ campaign, which was produced by Media Blanco (check out the story behind its global campaign for Toyota called Feeling the Street campaign here), shows Henwood playing the dodgy-yet-loaded business owner Frank, boganic secretary Sherl and salty tow truck driver Trev. And it has some fun with engrained stereotypes to drum home the message that going cheap on parts could lead to expensive consequences—and vast riches for tow truck companies like Tuff Towing (in case you were wondering, mechanics were ranked 27th on the list of least trusted professions in the latest Reader’s Digest survey and car sales people were listed at 46th). 

As the YouTube blurb says: “It’s not funny getting stranded thanks to a faulty part. The truth is, non-genuine parts simply can’t offer the reliability and quality that Toyota Genuine Parts do. By choosing Toyota Genuine Parts every time, you can be sure you’re getting safe, 100 percent guaranteed parts that you can rely on.”

Toyota has also provided plenty of information on the myths and legends of buying parts on its website.  

As expected, Henwood brings plenty of entertainment value to the campaign, with our particular favourites being Trev’s rather obvious physical response when listening to his recordings of various mechanical problems and the photos of his favourite tows. 

Automotive brands (and car yards officially linked with brands) regularly trade on trust. And Audi Germany recently released an epic ad promoting its reliable—and reliably expensive—servicing options by showing a throng of zombie-like mechanics who are hell bent on getting some business.  

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