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Your Shot: Toyota Camry's Thrill Ride


Saatchi LA ECD, Chris Adams, takes customers on roller coaster ride

Your Shot: Toyota Camry's Thrill Ride

Known for its safety and reliability, Toyota wanted to push the fact that its Camry is also one heck of a ride. The team at Saatchi & Saatchi LA took that 'heck of a ride' idea quite literally and built a roller coaster-style 'Thrill Ride' on which over 200 participants experienced three-story hill plunges, banked turns and tunnels at whipping speeds. Saatchi LA Executive Creative Director, Chris Adams, chats to Laura Swinton about making the Camry fun. 


LBB> What was the original brief from the client - and what was Toyota's reaction when you presented the roller coaster idea?

CA> The original brief was beautifully simple: Everyone knows that Camry is legendary for its Quality, Durability and Reliability. But what they don't know is that it's one hell of a ride. 

Toyota was really into this idea right from the beginning. We brought two ideas to the meeting. The first one delivered everything that was asked for in the brief, in a nicely packaged, but pretty traditional car campaign. Then, when we put this idea on the table, we saw all the clients lean in and really get excited. 

It was no contest. We didn't have to push at all. After towing the Space Shuttle last year with the Tundra, they have a really high bar for the work. They completely get experiential, non-traditional ideas. And they have a high level of confidence that we can execute amazing events and turn them into advertising across every medium. 

LBB> As I understand it, the project is designed to show the Camry as being both dependable and exciting - how did you strike the balance between the two potentially contradictory requirements to create a clear message?

CA> Actually, that part was pretty easy. You just put a Camry out there and it screams dependability. It's been the best selling car in America for a long, long time and dependability is a huge reason why. Not having to breathe a word about dependability allowed us to focus on the performance side of the story and go all-in on showing people experience it. 

LBB> During the development of the idea, at what point did the idea of creating this unique thrill-ride go from crazy brainstorm idea to a real possibility and an achievable proposition? 

CA> Anyone who's ever worked on cars has had a roller coaster idea. And Margaret Keene (my Co-ECD) and I have been pitched plenty of them. The approach is usually to use roller coaster sound effects while showing performance footage in San Francisco, or do some big budget special effects thing that makes the car look like it's suspended above the ground on a track. 

What clicked for us on this idea was that the intent was less about putting a car on a roller coaster track using special effects, and more about making it a real demonstration, in a real parking lot with real people in the car. 

LBB>  Who did you work with to engineer and create the course? Were there any particular considerations you had to take into account to accommodate the car?

CA> Director Mike "Mouse" McCoy (former winner of the Baja 500 and Baja 1000) and his production company "Bandito Brothers" worked really closely with our team to get all the roller coaster cues in there in a way that guaranteed thrills - and the safety of the passengers.

LBB> The selfie idea is great - it's like a new social take on those theme park souvenir photos! How did the selfies and user generated video idea come about?

CA> You hit the nail on the head. The whole campaign idea really came from the roller coaster photos. They're the ultimate proof point that the ride is a blast. We wanted to figure out how to get real people exactly into that moment in a Camry, and then document it in all the media surrounding the campaign. 

Originally we had wanted to give each of the 200 participants high quality video of their ride from our cameras to post on social media, but it was going to take forever to download it all and get it to them, and we wanted them to be able to post it to their social media accounts immediately. 

The ah-ha moment came when we realized that with smart phones, everyone already had their own high-res video camera in their pocket. All we had to do was put a mount in the car for them and remind them to hit "record." Then they had an awesome video of their experience ready to post to social media literally seconds after the ride. 

LBB>  I'm guessing the team involved took the chance to test out the ride! What were your memories of the experience?

CA> We built it right next to the iconic Colossus roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain, so I remember the sound of Colossus clacking up the hill and the screams of people flying by. It made our ride feel that much more authentic. The weightless feeling coming over the top of the hill is unforgettable too, that's when I knew it was going to blow people away. 




ECD: Margaret Keene / Chris Adams 
CD: Ed Miller 
ACD/Copywriter: Evan Brown 
ACD/Art Director: 
Art Director: John Kritch 
Director of Integrated Production 
Executive Producer: Richard Bendetti 
Integrated Production Coordinator: 
Associate Producer: Alex Granieri 
Sr. Integrated Producer: Julie Notaro 
Sr. Integrated Producer: Amy Jo Deguzis 
Sr. Print Producer: Rachel Dallas-Noble 
Sr. Art Producer: Angee Murray 
Sr. Project Manager: Angela Montoya 
Group IM Director: Andrew Corpman 
Account Director: Vickie Stafford 
Strategic Planning Director: Evan Ferrari 
Assoc. Director Business Affairs: Biba Millstein 
Client Name: Colin Morisako 
DIRECTOR: Mike "Mouse" McCoy 
DIRECTOR/2ND UNIT: Jacob Rosenberg 
POST PRODUCER: Rebecca Jameson/Mike Goble 
EDITOR: Jeff Tober BTS 
EDITOR: Tracy Hof 
FINISH: Bandito Post/Method 
COLORIST: Mark Osborne@Bandito 
SOUND DESIGN: Kim Christensen ​
MIX: Rohan@Lime Studios

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Categories: Cars, Automotive

Saatchi & Saatchi London, Mon, 04 Nov 2013 17:07:14 GMT