World’s best ads ever #52: the Toyota spot that had New Zealanders saying ‘bugger’
We asked our readers to vote for their favorite commercials of all time. Top creatives from the World Creative Rankings and The Drum’s Judges’ Club then ranked the ads. Now, we bring you the definitive 100 best TV and video ads of all time.
A mainstay of Kiwi pop culture, this 1999 ad for the Toyota Hilux stemmed from the idea that the model was more powerful than ever before, with a hapless farmer enduring all sorts of improbable accidents as a result.
The Toyota Hilux utility vehicle was once the subject of a Top Gear episode in which presenter Jeremy Clarkson famously tried – and failed – to destroy one, and is a model favoured by farmers – a significant demographic in a country with more sheep than people.
The Kiwi bloke in the ad had also long been a mainstay of Toyota’s marketing in New Zealand – rural farmer Barry Crump appeared in its ads for over a decade before ‘Bugger’ was released by M&C Saatchi in 1999.
In the spot, the hapless farmer is betrayed by the indestructible power of his own Hilux, leading him to mutter the expletive throughout. As a result, members of the public complained that the swear word used in the advertisement was offensive. There were 120 complaints about the ad in New Zealand and just one in Australia, where it also aired.
However, it didn’t deter consumers and the Hilux became the top-selling utility vehicle in New Zealand and stayed there for over 30 years