"When you're free to move, anything is possible."
That is the motto that accompanies Toyota Motor Corp.'s "Start Your Impossible" global advertising and marketing campaign as the automaker strives to reinvent itself as a mobility company.
The initiative, part of Toyota's eight-year Olympics and Paralympics sponsorship, launched seven ads following three spots that ran during the Super Bowl.
" 'Start Your Impossible' is rooted in the word 'kaizen,' the Japanese word for continuous improvement, [which is] central to Toyota's values," Chris Schultz, general manager of Olympic/Paralympic marketing with Toyota Motor North America, wrote in an emailed statement to Automotive News. "With this campaign, Toyota hopes consumers connect with the notion that when you are free to move, anything is possible."
The campaign features 50 Olympic and Paralympic athletes around the world and consists of 10 TV spots, social media initiatives and short-form documentaries. The campaign has been in the works for more than two and a half years, Schultz said. It will continue through the Olympics and Paralympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, this year.
In a spot dubbed "Thin Ice," American Olympic figure skater and medalist, Ashley Wagner is pictured gracefully skating under an illustrious full moon. Her elegant spins are cut short when she falls and finds herself helpless beneath the ice.
"One wrong move and it can all slip away," she narrates. "I thought I was done but strength only comes from my struggle."
In "Frozen," a number of iconic moments in Olympic and Paralympic history are shown in the form of ice sculptures. The commercial tries to shed light on the dangers of global warming through the deteriorating sculptures and the possible effect on the Olympians' and Paralympians' hopes and dreams.
In a "Stranger Things"-esque spot, "Magic," a young bedridden boy uses his hand to make his hockey glove levitate across the room and onto his hand. His sci-fi fantasy pauses when his mother walks by and spots a Toyota support robot by his side holding a plate of cookies.
"Fifty percent of the campaign is around folks that have overcome a challenge with mobility, whether they be Olympic athletes or others, and the other 50 percent of the campaign is around devices that takes us beyond cars and trucks, into overcoming any type of challenge of movement," Ed Laukes, marketing chief for Toyota North America, told Automotive News in December.
The campaign is a joint effort among Toyota and advertising agencies Saatchi & Saatchi in the U.S. and Dentsu in Japan.
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