Toyota is celebrating Father's Day with a sweet ad about a dad and his daughter's relationship through the years—told from both perspectives.
The three-and-a-half minute montage first tells the story from the father's point of view, starting when his girl is just a newborn. As she grows up, he graduates from a small hatchback to a minivan, and he eventually slaps a "Baby on board" sticker on her own car (for his grandkid).
The real fun, though, comes in the second half of the commercial, which follows the same story but told from the daughter's perspective, throwing in even more cute tidbits—like the moment, as a teen, when she tosses the giant pink mittens she's outgrown but Dad is still foisting upon her.
Father-daughter car stories are nothing new—Subaru famously excels at them. General throwbacks to growing up while riding around in a particular make are familiar, too, as are series on an automaker's evolving models.
But Toyota's approach here blends a number of popular themes into a powerful sequence that, save for some not-entirely-convincing aging, is well-produced. The split story is also an effective hook—once you've seen the father's side, curiosity about the daughter's take on the same events helps carry it through to the end.
Eventually, the ad does deliver its own hard sales pitch—a Toyota collision alarm system saves all three generations from rear-ending the car in front of them. The subtitled English translation of the tagline—"Love works invisible. Toyota works love"—doesn't really do it justice. The rough spirit of the Japanese is something closer to "Love invisibly watches over you. We use the same eye in our cars."
That's not a bad way to tie the whole piece together, even if it's safe to say that when all is said and done, Toyota loves your money more than it loves you.