Toyota: Powell Family by Burrell Communications

Client: Toyota
Date: Aug 2018
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Burrell’s new multi-platform social media and broadcast campaign for Toyota centers around the fun-loving fictional Powell Family, and 'slice of life' moments that inspire spontaneous family adventures enjoyed in the comfort of their 2018 ToyotaHighlander.

The team at The Colonie was tasked with creating an array of engaging deliverables for a variety of platforms that include cinemagraphs, GIFs, and square video optimized for Facebook, as well as traditional 16:9. The Chicago-based editorial and postproduction company’s editors, Bob Ackerman and Graham Chapman, along with Director of Social Media, Jimmy Helm, worked as a team on the large integrated package.

Helm focused on the optimizations for Facebook and presented the agency with a range of creative options that effectively featured the brand message, from Carousels and Canvases to Instagram stories and more.

The campaign was co-edited by Ackerman and Chapman in The Colonie’s Avid Media Composer suites. Each editor tackled one of the main 30s, ’Inspiration’ and ‘Heroes,’ which is also airing as a broadcast spot. Chapman took the lead on the 15-second, ‘Falling’ and the two 6 second spots ‘Jump In,' and ‘Dull Moments.’

‘Heroes’ opens with the young son running through the Powell family’s house donning a makeshift cape, pretending to be a superhero. The parents’ eyes meet as his play-acting sparks the same idea, and the action cuts to the family in their ToyotaHighlander, with ‘The Hero’ theme song playing on its JBL Premium Audio System as they hit the road. The SUV comes to a stop at a festive event where like-minded superhero enthusiasts in full-costume have gathered. As the Powells exit their Highlander to join in, we see that they’re all dressed in elaborate superhero garb. The spot closes with the tagline, ‘ToyotaHighlander - Let’s Go Places.’

The same young son jumping around in a horse mask is the genesis for a second :30, ‘Inspiration.’ Seeing their son at play is all it takes for the mom and dad to load their kids in their Highlander and take off on another excursion. This time the destination is a stable in the bucolic countryside where, to the brother and sister’s delight, they get their first riding lesson. The spot ends with the tagline, ‘“From Inspiration to Destination. There's More to Discover in the 2018 Highlander.”


AGENCY: Burrell Communications / Chicago

CCO: Lewis Williams

Senior Digital Producer: Carlo Treviso

VPCD/Copywriter: Corey Seaton

ACD/Art Director: Derrick Harmon

Business Manager: Robin Bisel


Director: Phil Brown

Producer: Marc Longberg

EDITORIAL COMPANY: The Colonie / Chicago

Director of Social Media: Jimmy Helm

Junior Editor: Graham Chapman

Creative Editor: Bob Ackerman

Finishing: Tom Dernulc

Executive Producer: Mary Caddy

AUDIO/SOUND COMPANY: Noise Floor / Chicago

Mixer: Cory Coken

Sound Designer: Cory Coken


Colorist: Michael Matusek

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