Canine star stars again


Less than a month after his television debut in a TV commercial for Toyota Corolla, Buddy the brindle Boxer is back on TV screens in a new Toyata Hilux commercial.

In the new commercial, Buddy abandons any attempts to behave with sophistication and grace. Instead, he has fun on a dry Karoo farm mocking the sheep he encounters and making bad jokes, while recognising the Hilux’s toughness.

Once again, the ad was developed by Draftfcb Johannesburg’s creative team of group executive creative director Brett Morris, James Cloete and Ivor Forrester, and relied on clever direction by Bouffant Productions and extensive post-production by Sinister Studio to “bring Buddy to life’.

Said Toyota South Africa’s Vice President of Marketing Planning & Communications, Marius Vorster: “We are thrilled with the response to Buddy. From his very first grin in the Toyota Corolla ad, he captured the imagination of the South African public, and the hearts of Toyota customers. They immediately identified with his down-to-earth, spontaneous and enthusiastic approach to life and recognised right away that these were qualities that they had grown to trust and respect in the Toyota brand.>

“It was always our intention to use Buddy to promote all parts of our business, and now he stars in an ad for the Toyota Hilux to drive home, once again, that Toyota is a grounded, unpretentious but fun-loving South African company.

“While Buddy – and the approach to marketing he represents – is a pretty radical approach and a departure from Toyota’s historic marketing modus operandi, we believe he is already working well for us and our business,’ said Vorster.

Buddy was created by the agency to make sure Toyota SA had the best communication solution for the challenging economic times.

According to group business director on the account, Romaine Mackenzie, trust is the one quality Toyota truly owns, the one characteristic its competitors can’t challenge it on. So, its communication needs to remind consumers that Toyota vehicles are “loyal’ and will never let you down.

“As a result of this thinking, we set out to find an icon. Not only did this icon need to embody the spirit of Toyota but, from an advertising point-of-view, it needed to be instantly recognised no matter the execution, thus maximising spend. Also, this icon needed to transcend race, gender and age, and – most importantly – pull at the heart strings without being soppy.

“In adspeak, our icon represents a different approach to take advantage of the opportunities presented by these challenging times. He is the dog’s dog; the epitome of reliability, honesty, loyalty and warm-heartedness, he personifies the Toyota brand in a universal way. This approach is fresh, it is distinctive versus different, it has tonality, and provides consumers with a talking point,’ she said.


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