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Football Star Antoinette 'Toni' Harris Challenges Perceptions in Toyota's Super Bowl Spot

30/01/2019
Publication
London, UK
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Joe Pytka directs Big Game ad from Burrell Communications, Saatchi & Saatchi and Zenith Media

Toyota returns to the 2019 Super Bowl with a spotlight on two game-changers - the 2019 RAV4 HV (RAV4 Hybrid) and powerhouse female football player Antoinette 'Toni' Harris. 

The Super Bowl spot, which will appear toward the end of the second quarter, features the 2019 RAV4 HV (XSE HV grade, specifically), a hybrid that will defy expectations and redefine what it means to be a hybrid. Performance-wise, the 2019 RAV4 HV is truly the no-compromise crossover sport utility vehicle thanks to its enhanced power and acceleration.

“The 2019 RAV4 HV is the vehicle that will shatter perceptions of hybrids, much like how Toni is shattering perceptions of a football player,” said Ed Laukes, group vice president, Toyota Marketing, Toyota Motor North America. “We’re excited to highlight Toni’s inspirational story during the Big Game and remind viewers that assumptions should always be challenged.”

Narrated by sportscaster Jim Nantz, the spot features 22-year-old Detroit native Toni Harris, the first female football player to play a non-specialist position. She is also the first and only female player to be offered a full scholarship as a non-specialist on defence. As a sophomore defensive back (free safety) at East Los Angeles College, Toni has received four scholarship offers from universities excited to help her continue her journey on and off the field.

“I am thrilled to partner with Toyota on our like-minded quest to defy expectations, lead the charge without compromise and overcome adversity,” said Harris. “I hope this will inspire others who are experiencing a similar journey.”

Directed by Joe Pytka - who has directed more than 80 Super Bowl commercials - 'Toni' was Pytka’s first time working with Toyota. “Toni’s story and the Toyota RAV4 HV narrative complement each other nicely and it was a true pleasure to feature them during the most-watched television event of the year,” commented the director.

More than four years ago, Toyota adopted a cohesive marketing approach, inclusive of multicultural marketing, bringing together its agencies into a total market model called Total Toyota or T2. The Total Toyota team, includes Saatchi & Saatchi, Burrell Communications, Conill Advertising & interTrend, with Zenith placing TV and outdoor media buys. 

For this year’s Big Game, Burrell Communications created and produced Toni’s story, with additional support from both Saatchi & Saatchi and Zenith Media.

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