CHICAGO -- Toyota Motor Corp. will tout its newly redesigned 2016 Prius in a Super Bowl ad, using advertising's biggest stage to show off the hybrid car that has appeared in the game just once before.
The 60-second spot will run during the two-minute warning in the first half, kicking off a larger campaign for Prius, according to Toyota. The automaker declined to share creative details other than to say that the ad was humorous and was shot in Los Angeles and Chicago. The agency is Saatchi & Saatchi, Los Angeles.
Toyota is making its fifth straight appearance in the Super Bowl, but the automaker has not dedicated a spot to Prius in the game since 2005, according to Toyota.
The ad comes as much of the momentum in the car industry centers around SUVs and pickup trucks, partly because of cheap gas prices. That makes it interesting timing for an expensive ad touting a gasoline/electric hybrid vehicle such as the Prius, whose U.S. sales fell 11 percent in 2015 to 184,794 vehicles. But Toyota is aiming to use the Super Bowl's massive audience to stoke interest for the new 2016 version.
"The vehicle that revolutionized the way that Americans look at hybrids and came of age with the entire American public watching, is certainly deserving of this grand stage to unveil its next generation model to our guests throughout the country," Jack Hollis, group vice president for marketing at Toyota Motor Sales USA, said in a statement.
The 2016 Prius is longer, lower and wider than its predecessors, offering more interior room, according to Toyota.