Saatchi re-energises the Hilux legend

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Saatchi & Saatchi NZ has unveiled the latest Toyota Hilux campaign featuring a cast of anthropormorphic animals, riding high on an all-new Hilux. The agency calls the campaign A poetic Call of the Wild.

The spot premiered on Toyota’s social media channels on Friday and launched officially with a full page ad in the Sunday Star Times, directing people to watch the full 90” film at 7.30pm that night on TVNZ.

“Toyota has a long and rich history of creating iconic advertising around its much loved ute – from the days of Scottie & Crumpy, to the controversial (at the time) Bugger commercials, to more recent campaigns featuring talking Bulls and sidecar-riding monkeys,” says joint ECD Corey Chalmers.

“Being given the opportunity to create the next chapter for Hilux is a real privilege and a huge honour.”

Saatchi’s other joint ECD Guy Roberts said: “Creating this campaign for Hilux has been an incredible labour of love, delivered by an amazing team. We hope that people enjoy it and it sells the heck out of this bloody great new ute.”

Hilux is the work-horse of heartland New Zealand and has set the benchmark for light trucks since its launch in 1976.

Toyota general manager marketing Andrew Davis: “This ute continues this legacy and also delivers on the increasing urban appetite for utes and Kiwi’s love of the great outdoors, so it was important that the latest campaign spoke to this emerging group of city dwellers.

“We presented Saatchi & Saatchi with a significant challenge in continuing the Hilux story, and we are excited with the final result which resets the benchmark and befits the legacy of Hilux.”

The TV Campaign was directed by Adam Stevens from Robbers Dog. The epic film was shot on location in the Reece Valley in the Southern Alps – and other New Zealand landscapes.

Adam Stevens said: “I had a ball working on this. From treatment to final mix, it was an absolute pleasure. I reckon everybody did and you can see it in the final films. So much hard work and attention to detail, I am proud to be a part of it.”

Each of the animal characters including ducks, fish, deer, possums and whitebait are all CGI creations, brought to life through animation and visual effects by Alt.vfx.

The new campaign also introduces a fresh brand positioning for Hilux which will appear across all elements of the advertising – The All New Hilux. The Benchmark. Rebuilt.

Watch the animal actors’ outtakes:

ODE to the Hilux

OH JOY! To be upon the new Hilux, transported.
We’ll not be hunted – but happily courted!
Inspired by you to wax lyric in sonnet,
mounted up proudly on your mighty steel bonnet!

From river to forest and fiord upon trail,
Your sweet engine purrs, refusing to fail.
Catching our eyes, foul hooked and kissed –
carry us with pride to the local taxidermist!

And even if you make a fair decent mess of us,
We’ll embrace our destiny – flattened without fuss!
Hunters, grunters and punters rejoice!
All the wildebeests and Sunday feasts yell out CHOICE!

Unbreakable in spirit, leaving other trucks bitter
It’s an honour to be transported into a piping hot fritter!
To the truck for good buggers, gear luggers and ditch diggers,
the big boat tuggers, lovers of rugger, and wild piggers!

The benchmark is back! Rebuilt to be a winner!
Raise a glass to the legend – while you have us for dinner!
It’s an honour to lie in the tray of your booty,
Hilux, you put the “ute” in “you bee-ute-y!”


Client: Toyota New Zealand
CEO: Alistair Davis
General Manager UV & Marketing, Executive: Andrew Davis
Assistant Manager Marketing: Susanne Hardy
Creative Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
CEO: Nicky Bell
ECD: Guy Roberts
ECD: Corey Chalmers
General Manager: Paul Wilson
Business Director: Susie Darling
Director of Strategy: Murray Streets
Senior Account Manager: Amanda Brittain
Executive Producer: Jane Oak
Senior Producer: Anna Kennedy
Designers: Rob Flynn, Ross Davies
Illustrator: Tomas Cottle
Production Company: Robber’s Dog
Director: Adam Stevens
Executive Producer: Mark Foster
Managing Director: George Mackenzie
Producer: Helen Hendry.
DOP: Shelley Farthing-Dawe
Editor: Stewart Reeves (Rock Paper Scissors)
Visual Effects: Alt.vfx
VFX Supervisor: Colin Renshaw
Executive Producer: Kate Stenhouse
Sound design: The Coopers
Composition: Elliot Wheeler @ Turning Studios
Photographer: Ross Brown @ Match Photography
Retoucher: Andy Salisbury

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