Cats hate being packed up in crates and dragged to the vet. But maybe they'll relent—hell, maybe they'll start to enjoy it—if you drive them there in a Toyota Corolla.
That's the premise of this amusing new 90-second spot from Toyota New Zealand (via Saatchi & Saatchi in Auckland) starring an exceedingly furry feline who enjoys his time in the Corolla so much that he begins to orchestrate accidents that force ever more visits to the animal hospital. The first injury, a broken leg, may be unanticipated. But once exposed to the luxurious interior of the 2013 Corolla, the cat is hooked—purring ferociously and already planning his next trip. He subsequently negotiates run-ins with a lawnmower, a cement mixer, a neighbor's Great Dane and several other potentially lethal adversaries. Eventually, he appears to take things too far—allowing himself to be swallowed whole by a street sweeper. (Sooner or later, every junkie hits rock bottom.) But even this proves not to be the end of our hero, who evidently has been graced with more than the usual nine lives.
Save for a few beauty shots, and a cursory pan of the interior, the spot says almost nothing about the product—insert any other car, and you've got an identical commercial. Even the tagline, "Feels good inside," is exceedingly vague. Still, with its purely viral backbone—cats and slapstick violence can't lose—this kind of storytelling will get plenty of exposure for the brand, while also lending it a playful air.
But kitties—don't try this at home.
Client: Toyota New Zealand
General Manager of Marketing: Neeraj Lala
Marketing Manager: Andrew Davis
New Vehicles Marketing Team Leader: Michael Shepherd
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Auckland, New Zealand
Executive Creative Director: Antonio Navas
Creative Directors: Corey Chalmers, Guy Roberts
Co-creatives: Sarah Litwin-Schmid, Emily Drake
Head of Content: Jane Oak
Head of Planning: Murray Streets
Group Account Director: Mark Cochrane
Art Director: Emma Guadagni
Media Director: Sally Falconer
Production Company: GoodOil
Director: Hamish Rothwell
Producer: Sam Long
Director of Photography: Crichton Bone
Editor: Peter Sciberras
Online: Nigel Mortimer, Blockhead
Audio Post: Liquid Studios
Music Composition: Elliott Wheeler
Music Production: Turning Studios
Audio Postproduction: Liquid
Sound Engineer: Craig Matuschka
Animal Trainer: Caroline Girdlestone
Media Agency: Starcom
Public Relations Agency: Wright Communications
Digital Agency: Aim Proximity