Toyota’s big-budget Tundra ad recalls the ‘truck souls’ of its past

The ad also includes a CGI recreation of an actual 2012 event, when a Tundra hauled space shuttle Endeavor to its final resting spot in the California Science Center. There is even a nod to the “Back to the Future” film franchise in which Marty McFly drove a 1985 Toyota pickup. The ad shows a quick glimpse of a 1985 Tacoma SR5 with a “MCFLY” license plate.

Schragger describes the ad as showing “the new Tundra creating this big dust storm filled with the soul of its past — the souls of all the trucks of Toyota went into building the new Toyota.” He adds: “We wanted it to feel almost like a movie trailer rather than just some advertising.”

The Tundra will hit dealers in late November/early December, with the full campaign kicking into gear in 2022, according to Toyota. Materazzo says the automaker will rely on all its agency partners, including Conill and Burrell, which target multicultural audiences.

With the campaign, Toyota is trying to win attention in a full-size truck segment dominated by the Detroit 3. As recently reported by Automotive News, in the first six months of this year, the Ford F-Series led with sales of 362,082 vehicles, followed by Ram pickups (313,068), the Chevrolet Silverado (286,410) and the GMC Sierra (138,412). The Tundra was fifth at 43,865 vehicles.

The new Tundra will have its in-person coming out party at the Motor Bella, an outdoor event set for Sept. 21-26 in Pontiac, a suburb about a half-hour drive north of Detroit. It marks the first auto show in the region since COVID-19 scuttled the 2020 North American International Auto Show.

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