‘Bullish’ Campaign For New Yaris Pits Rally Against FMX 


Toyota South Africa has launched the new Yaris with a campaign that clearly positions the motor vehicle as synonymous with young adult males while simultaneously aligning it with Toyota’s sponsorship of the fearless Red Bull X-Fighters.

Targeting 25-35 year old males,  the campaign signals that they can easily upgrade from their first set of wheels to the more adult Yaris without losing their street ‘cred’ and ‘cool’ factor.

Toyota Senior Manager: Advertising, Natasha Eddie, briefed FCB Joburg to create a campaign that would appeal to a more settled and self-assured buyer, one who is on the move and climbing the ladder of success. Critical, however, was that it also appealed to this buyer’s need to drive a vehicle that expresses his personality and sense of style.

“Our target buyer is very image conscious and status orientated; he needs a car that symbolises his drive, and highlights the success of his life he has made thus far. Importantly, what he drives has to be regarded as masculine,” she said.

The campaign utilises a phrase – ‘Own It’ – that encapsulates the buyer’s ambition, desire to project a good image to his peers and move from being ‘one of the boys’ to being ‘his own man’. The creative team involved in the campaign includes Chief Executive Creative Officer Brett Morris, Creative Director Tian Van den Heever, Copywriter Gila Shapiro and Art Director Alex Christodoulou,

“We’ve satisfied Toyota’s brief by pulling together a fast-paced commercial that pits champion against champion in a red dust arena of sharp corners and steep ramps,” explained FCB Executive Business Manager, Mike Di Terlizzi.

“It shows National Rally Champion, Leeroy Poulter, facing off against Freestyle Motocross Champion, ‘Sick’ Nick de Wit, in 30 and 40 seconds of controlled skids, handbrake turns and slides as well backflips. The 30 second and 40 second versions – which are featuring on the web and Youtube as well as in cinema and on television – are supported by print ads and billboard placements,” he said.

Directed by Bioscope’s Juniper, the ad opens with Leeroy Poulter getting into a production version of the Yaris and Nick De Wit addressing the crowds. As Leeroy pulls off, the Yaris morphs into a rally version resplendent in the Yaris Extreme branding livery featuring #ToyotaGetsMyPulseRacing. The champion pair race around the arena doing advanced driving and stunts for the crowds. When they eventually halt, Nick concedes that Leeroy and the Yaris performed well, but cheekily asks ‘Can you do a backflip?’, arguably one of the most difficult FMX tricks. Leeroy is quick to retort: ‘Can you do it in reverse?’ With that, the ad reverts to footage of the Yaris rally car reversing and morphing back into the production vehicle while Nick executes a backflip in the background.


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