"This is an unprecedented opportunity for our team at Toyota to share messages of unity, friendship, diversity and perseverance," says Ed Laukes, group vice president for Toyota marketing at Toyota Motor North America. "With the Super Bowl and the Olympics just days apart on NBC, we're excited to join fans' enthusiasm for these two world-class events and connect with them by sharing meaningful and inspiring TV spots."
Toyota will release the third Super Bowl ad on Saturday. The 60-second spot will air prior to the halftime show, which Toyota sponsors. NBC Sports anchor Dan Patrick will introduce the ad, called "One Team." Toyota in a statement describes the ad as an "amusing, light-hearted narrative illustrating how people from diverse backgrounds unite to celebrate the spirit of what brings them together, their shared passion of sports." It continues the "Let's Go Places" campaign by Saatchi Los Angeles.
Despite Toyota's push, the presence of auto brands will not match last year's game, barring any last-minute surprises. In the 2017 game, eight automakers ran a total of 10 ads.
But this year only four auto brands have confirmed running a total of six ads so far: Hyundai, Kia, Toyota and Lexus.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will likely jump in, but spokespeople have yet to confirm its buy, which would probably include Jeep and perhaps Ram. Audi, another regular advertiser, has also yet to confirm its plans. A spokeswoman has not replied to repeated requests for comment this week.
If Audi and Fiat Chrysler make significant buys, then there is a chance autos would come close to matching last year's activity.