With available vehicles scarce and circumstances such as the spread of covid making it more difficult to count on holiday cheer, Toyota this Christmas season has pivoted from its traditional “Toyotathon” model-clearance advertising bonanza to softer themes of community support and togetherness.
“Nora’s Joy” and “Bookstore” are the brand’s two main TV commercials for the holiday season, and they take differing approaches to offering comfort and joy. “Bookstore” tells the story of a young girl who is inspired to collect gently used books from her community to restock her favorite local bookstore after it’s devastated by a fire. “Nora’s Joy” is the animated story of a young woman who finds the ability to share her joy at the holidays in a very magical way.
In addition, “Bookstore” highlights Toyota’s longstanding partnership with the National Center for Families Learning, a national nonprofit that works to eradicate poverty through education solutions for families. Toyota is providing more than 85,000 books nationwide through the outfit’s 420 literacy centers around the country.
“Bookstore” ends with the tag line, “Let’s Come Together This Holiday. “We believe books bring people together, and [the spot] conveys that emotion,” Mike Tripp, vice president of vehicle marketing and communications for Toyota North America, told me. “There’s a lot to this story as you peel it back. You learn more about our brand and our values that go beyond products.”
But Tripp dismissed any notion that the togetherness message is even obliquely aimed at prodding Americans to set aside their sharp political disunity. “There’s no covert messages,” he said. “It’s about bringing [Toyota’s] values to life.”
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“Nora’s Joy” was produced in both English and Spanish. Toyota invited consumers to #sharethejoy by sending a digital “joy jar” like those unleashed in the ad by the Nora character, to loved ones via a Toyota Instagram channel. The company will donate up to $50,000 to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund for social-media shares.
The integrated “Bookstore” campaign is appearing in 30- and 60-second versions across broadcast and cable networks, digital and paid social, during prime time, early-morning and sports programs — including the National Football League and the National Basketball Association — and on cable networks.
“Nora’s Joy” launched on Univision’s broadcast of its annual TeletonUSA charity broadcast earlier this month, and the spots are airing on Hispanic broadcast, targeted-cable and digital channels.