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By Audrey Kemp, LA Reporter

December 1, 2023 | 4 min read

Two ads that arrive during the automaker’s ‘Toyotathon’ sales event integrate themes of diversity, family and nostalgia to elevate a seasonal promotion to a celebration of shared experiences and connections.

This year, Toyota’s annual sales bonanza, ‘Toyotathon,’ arrives with a festive surprise: two holiday commercials designed to pull at viewers’ heartstrings.

The first of the two, titled ‘Present from the Past,’ debuted last night during NBC’s primetime special Christmas in Rockefeller Center. Made by ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi and directed by Lisa Gunning, the short tells the story of a young woman who receives a Christmas gift from her grandmother; inside is a vintage camera and a collection of her grandmother’s photos from when she was her age.

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The granddaughter decides to recreate the old photos of her grandmother by going to all the same places with her 2024 Tacoma. The ad culminates in a touching reunion where the granddaughter surprises her grandmother with an album documenting her travels alongside the recreated photos.

In conjunction with this ad, Toyota has partnered with the non-profit organization 100Cameras to fund learning programs for 10,000 students focused on photography within the next year.

The second spot, a bilingual ad titled ‘Arrivals’ crafted by Conill Advertising and directed by Max Malkin, depicts the chaotic yet relatable scene of an airport during the holidays. Families and friends navigate through the hustle and bustle, overcoming weather and traffic obstacles, all in the pursuit of reuniting with loved ones, thus demonstrating the unbreakable bond that Latinos have for their loved ones.

The ads come during Toyotathon, an annual event that falls between November and January, in which the automaker offers leasing and financing deals for new vehicles. The Toyotathon December Sales Event offers incentives through January 2, 2024.

Mike Tripp, group vice-president of Toyota Marketing at Toyota Motor North America, commented on the campaign: “This year, Toyota’s special holiday message focuses on spreading joy and bringing loved ones together for the holiday season. We hope that families and friends will embrace this message as they come together to enjoy what this season is truly about.”

After the premiere week, ‘Present from the Past’ will air nationally across broadcast and cable networks, including NBC, Comedy Central, Weather Channel and NBA games on ESPN. The campaign will also appear across cinema, digital video and paid social channels nationwide.

‘Arrivals’ will also run across Hispanic broadcast networks and cable, such as Univision, Telemundo, Estrella, Universo and Discovery en Español, as well as in theaters. Other campaign components include a Pandora partnership and content for Pinterest and Meta platforms.

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