Toyota’s ‘Never Settle’ campaign resonates because of brand values

The Sienna minivan is one of the vehicles featured in Toyota’s new brand campaign, “Never … [+] Adjust.”


Toyota has always been a brand with an all-encompassing appeal to American consumers that isn’t necessarily tied to single nameplates like the enduring Corolla or the RAV4 that sets the SUV standard. Instead, arguably Toyota’s greatest attribute has been that it represents quality, sensitivity and a certain appeal to mainstream concepts such as value, and in an anthropomorphic sense to empathy and awareness.

That’s why the brand can release a new ad campaign that doesn’t promote any specific vehicle, but reminds American consumers why they love Toyota in the first place. “Never Settle” is a logical extension leveraging multiculturalism to build on the foundation Toyota has laid with its global brand platform over the past decade, “Let’s Go Places.” Yet the theme of its new campaign makes the brand proactive in new ways.

Just launched, the campaign began with a handful of TV ads and associated online extensions that celebrate its vehicles – and more than that, its brand – in the lives of Hispanics, Blacks and other diverse audiences.

One ad, “Training Wheels,” chronicles the life of a young black man as he learns to ride a bike, swim and even fly, encouraged along the way not to be afraid. A second spot, “Not Yet”, focuses on the ambitions and perseverance of Hispanic Americans which includes a “clip” of a future first Hispanic President of the United States. A third commercial, “A New World”, depicts a real mixed-origin family driving their baby home from the hospital in a Toyota Sienna.

“The campaign is meant to tell stories and share inspiring messages about what Toyota is about as a brand,” Lisa Materazzo, vice president of Toyota Division Marketing Group for Toyota Motor North America, told me. “It works very well in the context of ‘Let’s Go Places’.”

Toyota launched “Let’s Go Places” in 2012 “to reflect Toyota’s forward-looking and optimistic momentum in the United States,” Materazzo said, and the brand has expanded positioning across a variety of settings and campaigns ranging from the Super Bowl at the Olympics.

Interestingly, Toyota’s latest campaign kicks off without any sort of overt shift towards electrification as either a philosophy or a reality of Toyota’s fleet. After establishing an early beachhead in battery-powered cars with the introduction of its Prius hybrid 25 years ago, Toyota has since been the most notable brand to resist the lurch of the global auto industry in a devotion all-electric vehicles.

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda echoed that lingering message the other day, telling American reporters that the company would continue to focus on hybrids as a short-term solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. using a variety of technologies to achieve carbon neutrality, including hydrogen. Powerful. In the meantime, he pointed out, Toyota does not plan to adopt mass electrification, in part because it would not meet the needs of much of its diverse customer base around the world. “We don’t want to leave anyone behind,” he said.

Materazzo explained: “Toyota has always been very focused on customer wants and needs, and in our approach to electrification, we take that very much into account. We have a lot of variety, from a manual transmission Corolla GR to a big new Tundra [pickup truck] with a hybrid option. This reflects our understanding that the unique approach [with all-electrics] won’t work for consumers right away.