Chuck Norris Gives His Powers to Toyota Tacoma
“Chuck Norris doesn’t throw up. He throws down.” I knew a kid from high school who had a shirt with that quote on it and there have been few, if any, sayings that are as true. Toyota’s “Tough as Chuck” proves it.
Toyota—through the agency Saatchi & Saatchi—launched a new “Let’s Go Places” campaign, using Toyota vehicles to replace people and animals in situations. It was a multi-model campaign that “allow[ed] Toyota to reach targeted audiences with a variety of products rolled under one over-arching campaign,” said Ed Laukes, group vice president of marketing at Toyota North America.
In “Tough as Chuck”, a Toyota Tacoma gets Chuck Norris’ powers after he autographs it and proceeds to drive itself into “Norris situations” with over-the-top and hysterical results.
Chuck Norris did a wheelie on a unicycle with these roundhouse kicks…
1. Never Letting Up – This ad rocked from the get go. Chuck Norris karate-chopped cinderblocks and was immediately asked to autograph a guy’s Toyota Tacoma. It was in over-drive from that point on with the car drawing a portrait of Norris with donuts, saving a man from quicksand, cutting it loose on the dance floor, catching a falling construction worker, dislodging a stuck football from a tree, winning a chess match, then finally riding a huge wave. We were along for an epic ride.
2. Visual Effects – There were two shots in particular that had me going “Ha!” and “How?” Obviously, the shot of the Tacoma surfing the wave was fantastic and had me going “Ha!” I’m pretty sure I know how they did that shot, but the one that got me was the shot with the truck backing into the foliage of the tree. How did they do that one? It was great and stuck with me.
3. Final Shot – This goes back to the multi-model marketing approach. In the final shot, the three Toyota models (each signed by Norris) that were part of the new “Let’s Go Places” campaign were shown in a single shot rolling down a dirt road. “By showcasing multiple models in a single spot, we can reach the right customer without a lull between individual vehicle campaigns,” said Ed Laukes. It worked wonderfully.
4. Direction – Upon research, it was discovered that the director of this ad was Andreas Nilsson who made the famous Epic Split ad for Volvo Trucks featuring another action star, Jean-Claude Van Damme. With those two ads in his repertoire, Nilsson proved he is the man to make these action-comedy car spots.
5. Chuck Norris – When Bruce Banner gets mad he turns into the Hulk. When the Hulk gets mad he turns into Chuck Norris. When Chuck Norris gets mad, run.
This ad did not skid to a halt.
With an apt spokesperson and direction that knew the strength of its subject and message, Toyota claimed a Chuck Norris fact for itself with “Tough as Chuck”: Toyota killed two—no, three—stones with one bird.