Toyota: Driving App

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The answer to every parent’s fears is here! Toyota has developed a new app to prevent newly licensed teen drivers from making all the mistakes that their parents expect them to. Here, we go over Toyota’s new ad for this dynamic app, with scores out of 10 for vital criteria and our thoughts on whether this commercial nails essential objectives. See what we think right here.
The PR campaign was created by the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, London.

Memorability – 8 / 10

The app employs quite a complex and comprehensive system, so this ad has to deliver a large amount of information within a short time. The genius of the app is what makes the commercial so memorable. All parents with teenagers will relate to the concept right away and be intrigued by the benefits. Teenagers will also find themselves attracted, as the app is essentially a means to gain approval from parents that might otherwise say no. The details in the advert are delivered clearly, methodically, and with helpful visual aids. With ample humor to help viewers retain the information positively, this concept does a fine job of keeping the subject light and aspirational.

Effectiveness – 8 / 10

If I were a teen new driver, I’d be rushing to pitch this new app to my cautious parents in the hope that this technology will help convince them to let me drive the car. The ad certainly speaks more to younger audiences more than it does to middle aged viewers. This is evident in the way that the majority of the ad is explained from the perception of the teen driver, and portrays typical attitudes that keen new drivers are likely to reciprocate towards relationships, freedom, and bravado. The objective here is to have teens downloading the app to show their parents its impressive capabilities. Clear explanations and a clever script deliver a catchy ad that nails essential points and relates directly to the target audience.

Style – 8 / 10

With characters that perfectly represent the most typical characteristics of the target demographic, this commercial portrays the scenario perfectly. The clear visuals showing the way the app works while a responsible sounding audio explains the core details helps to ensure the most important aspects of the app are delivered with unmistakable clarity. The main goal here is to make sure all target viewers find the features attractive and with such a suitably realistic cast, many viewers will understand and relate to the themes displayed instantly.

Heart or Humor – 8 / 10

The ad has great humor throughout, with comedic parents at the beginning, to highly relatable embarrassing notions within the example driving scenario towards the end. The humor doesn’t distract too much attention from the functionality of the app and no gags feel cheap or rushed.

Execution – 8 / 10

A catchy script that is filled with an impressive amount of key product information ticks the commercials key objectives. The greatest success of this piece is that it doesn’t spill into the realms of boring at any point. We assume the ad will almost definitely help create a sharp spike in the download levels of Toyota’s new driver safety app as well as provoke swarms parents to share their thoughts with other adults living in similar circumstances.


Toyota Europe and Saatchi & Saatchi London press release:

Toyota Europe and Saatchi & Saatchi London have today launched the Safe & Sound smartphone app, which uses a humorous threat of embarrassment to stop kids from speeding or using their phones while driving.

Designed to make driving safer and to give parents peace of mind when their children borrow their car, both parent and child need to download the app and then pair their phones. When a child wants to borrow their parents’ car, the parent simply need to activate the app by swiping / handing over a set of virtual keys.

The app initially works by blocking all social media notifications and incoming calls through the ‘do not disturb’ feature – which is activated via Google Maps API technology when it detects the car is moving over 9 mph.

Using insight that there’s nothing teenagers fear more than being seen as uncool, the app also harnesses a music functionality that syncs both parent and child Spotify accounts. When the young driver touches their phone or exceeds the designated speed limit when driving, the music they are playing through Spotify will suddenly cut out and their parents embarrassing playlist will kick in instead.

Only once the driver stops interacting with their phone or returns to within the speed limit, will their own music return. At the end of the drive both parent and child are provided with a drive summary on the app.

Research shows young drivers are at a much higher risk of crashing than older drivers and one in four 18-24 year olds crash within two years of passing their driving test*. For the younger generation of drivers, grabbing or reaching for their phones after hearing a ping or push notification is far too tempting to ignore – and is almost second nature in any situation no matter how dangerous. The National Safety Council in America found 26% of all road accidents are caused by improper mobile phone use and that 80% of young drivers make or receive phone calls while driving and 72% text. With a third of fatal young driver crashes in the USA are speed-related.

One of the scariest moment in any parent’s life is when their child passes his or her driving test. And even if there is ample trust in their child’s driving ability, there is the added danger of other drivers on the road. Helping to calm parents’ anxiety with the app, 74% of parents worry more about their child being in a car accident than crime and drugs.

Representing the next chapter in Toyota’s commitment to safety, this campaign forms part of the company’s strategy to one day totally eliminate automotive accidents and fatalities. The app also comes at a time when recent UK mobility legislation has just become tougher meaning more points deducted, a greater fine and an instant ban for new drivers caught using their phone at the wheel.

Dario Giustini, Toyota Motor Europe’s Senior Manager, Brand & Communications, for Toyota Europe, said: “We have a safety first approach globally and it is our mission to one day eliminate all road accidents. Because we truly believe in safety as a company, we decided to actually do something about it. Above and beyond our products. The Safe and Sound app will hopefully help to raise awareness especially among young drivers about the dangers of improper mobile phone use in the car. This app is not just available for Toyota drivers but for anyone and everyone on the roads.”

Jason Mendes, Executive Creative Director of Global brands at Saatchi & Saatchi added, “Tell teenagers to turn their phone off in a cinema and they will – tell them to turn it off in a dangerous situation, like driving a car, and they won’t. Go figure. However, for teenagers, the threat of embarrassment is far more severe than the threat of injury – that insight we thought was a powerful platform to create something that would cut through, make a difference and ultimately continue the conversation around safety.”

The app has been released to coincide with the start of school and university summer holidays when our roads will be flooded with young drivers. Available now to download for free from the Google Play store, the Safe and Sound app is available for Android phones only.

The Safe and Sound campaign consists of the Mobile app and two 40” online content films which will feature on Toyota social media channels.

The teenager gets the car


A catchy script that is filled with an impressive amount of key product information ticks the commercials key objectives.

Heart or Humor8.0
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