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Kitten-Headed Ninjas Drive Toyota Corollas

Toyota’s new Australian ad campaign for their 2009 Corolla hatchback is freaking solid gold. It’s just this kind of bizarre stuff that gets people interested and talking about the product, especially in their target audience, youth. “We just really wanted to make something a younger audience could be intrigued by, and sell a different side of Corolla, other than how practical it is,” says Micah Walker, Creative Director, Mojo Sydney.

The kitten headed hero’s story doesn’t end with the commercial though, his story is fleshed-out in an animated graphic novel online called The Getaway. We learn his name is Max and he has a sidekick named Misty; and he gets into a series of adventures: 9 Lives and Counting, Landing on all Fours, and The Sound and the Furry… clever, right?


The ad campaign was developed at Publicis Mojo, Sydney, by creative director Micah Walker, art director Michael Spirkovski, copywriter Grant McAloon, account service team Amanda Wheeler, Sara McConkey and Damien Pashby, planner Ian Cassidy, and agency producer Jasmin Ferguson.

The whole thing is surprisingly well done, and the story seamlessly includes all the specs and info about car and tons of downloadable pictures and media. Digital creative director Joel Thomson said, “This idea felt perfect for an illustrated strip, we were confident the ad would drive lots of people online and we wanted to give them something just as cool there to get into and share. It certainly feels like a fresh move for a car site and perfect for Corolla.”

Director of the commercial, Garth Davis said, “This idea, this film, unapologetically celebrates that rich and wonderful world of the imagination… It’s not everyday you make a little film about kitten headed people. I love the innocence of kittens, in a playfully seedy world, and how we explored a new fighting style; a hybrid of kung fu and kitten. For me, this film ultimately reflects the easy going fun and adrenalin of Corolla… I love it, and am very excited about tickling people’s minds.”

My only complaint with the campaign as a whole is that they didn’t show off the car as much as they could have. The new Corolla is a really nice looking car and they had ample opportunities to let it be seen, unfortunately, no such luck.

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