Saatchi launches Toyota Drive Happy Project (updated)

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Toyota New Zealand has launched the Toyota Drive Happy Project which aims to transform the way New Zealanders buy and own a new car.

“The project pioneers a new way of doing business with private and business customers and is part of the changing face of mobility worldwide,” said Toyota NZ marketing GM Andrew Davis.

Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand created the campaign to bring the Toyota Drive Happy Project to life, personifying the five key new car buying “bothers” Toyota is looking to change.

Andrew Davis said: “We want 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”.

“We’re hoping it will bring comfort to every trepidacious car buyer out there.”

The changes include 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.

Toyota-commissioned research identified the likes and dislikes about the current buying experience. The top five “bothers” according to the surveyed New Zealanders were:

  1. haggling over price
  2. hard sell from salespeople
  3. the time involved in customisation
  4. the test drive experience
  5. buyer’s remorse.

Each of these “bothers” has been brought to life as an animated character, created by Alt.VFX.

Toby Talbot, CCO of Saatchi & Saatchi, said: “This 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.”

The campaign launched on Easter Monday evening and is currently running across TV, digital, social, print and instore.


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
About Alt.VFX

Alt.VFX is a world-leading visual effects and post-production company with studios in Brisbane, Sydney and Los Angeles. Alt.VFX is owned and driven by a collective of leading artists and producers, all of whom share a vision – to create the most stunning visual content possible, across all mediums. From visual effects to virtual reality, Alt collaborates with leading agencies and filmmakers across the world, helping creatives tell their stories across a vast range of projects.

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