Toyota Eyes 'Evolved Truckers' For '14 Tundra

It's the year of the pickup truck. Sales haven't been this strong since before the recession, with the haulers once again serving as huge-selling vehicles in Dodge, Chevy and Ford's portfolios. But for Toyota, the Tundra has always been a distant fourth.

Yes, Tundra sales were up 7% this year, and 13% year-to-date. Tundra has sold 61,385 this year. That's about how many trucks Ford sold last month. Chrysler Group saw Ram up 31% last month, with 201,633 pickups delivered year-to-date; Chevy has delivered 284,000 Silverados through July in which it saw a 45% increase versus last year; and F-150 accounted for over 60,000 Ford deliveries last month, a 23% improvement. The automaker has sold 427,935 of the trucks through July.   



To be fair, Toyota doesn't have quite the diversity of configurations, sizes, options and flavors -- especially bed size -- as the others. And its last redesign was in 2007. So the company hasn't put a lot of ad lettuce behind the truck since it pulled the Discovery shuttle around Los Angeles last year. One way to deal with all of this is to ignore the hardcore hay haulers and log rollers. The company, which began selling the third-generation 2014 Tundra last month, seems to get that the niche for the truck is going to be the more domestic type. Here comes the big campaign via AOR Saatchi & Saatchi LA to reach just those types, which Toyota calls “The Evolved Trucker.”

The effort, which starts on the 22nd, is intended to tout the truck as a family vehicle for a lot of big DIY home projects. Instead of heavy industrial equipment, hay, and construction gear, the campaign presents their analogs in loads of Home Depot-esque stuff for jobs for that most of us, under strict orders from our significant others, will hire a handyman to handle. 

There are three TV ads, two of which roll out on “Sunday Night Football” on NBC. Each of the ads starts with a lifestyle-improving home project. The video suddenly goes in fast temporal reverse, showing the project being disassembled with the truck's backward assistance stopping the moment the dad gets the idea: for a backyard baseball field, treehouse, and racetrack. One features NASCAR driver Kyle Bush.

Other buys in the rotation: “Monday Night Football,” MLB playoffs, college football, NASCAR Sprint Cup, “Nashville,” “NCIS Los Angeles” and “The Today Show.” There is also a buy on Discovery and Animal Planet. 

Print hits Sports Illustrated, Popular Science, Car & Driver, This Old House, Outside, Field & Stream and (needless to say) Texas Monthly

There's also a flatbed full of digital and native advertising, with home page takeovers, infographics, branded articles, blueprints, videos and instructions, per Toyota. These elements run on YouTube, MSN, The Weather Channel, eHow and HowStuffWorks. The company is also backing NASCAR racing with Tundra-centric, in-race video on Twitter.

Grassroots elements at Dew Tour, Supercross, Toyota Drive Center events, Bass Pro Shops events, Monster Energy Cup, and country music events include Tundra ride and drives.

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