Let’s Join Hands

Olympics-themed ad campaign, introduced in Rio, invites viewers to participate via social media

August 25, 2016

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio might have held its last competition and handed out all of its gold, silver and bronze medals. But Toyota hopes that, thanks to its “Stand Together” ads and #LetsJoinHands social media campaign, the Games’ spirit of international goodwill and cooperation will continue to reverberate in the weeks and months ahead.
The new campaign made its debut with a 60-second spot during the Games’ opening ceremony that showed athletes, rather than boasting of individual accomplishments, joining hands as they ascended the medals podium. That heart-stirring introduction was followed by a series of 30-second ads that aired throughout the 20-day competition, calling upon viewers to follow the athletes’ altruistic lead via social media.
For each photo or video submitted to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and the like that promoted the themes of togetherness and cooperation and was labeled with the #LetsJoinHands hashtag, Toyota pledged a $20 donation to the United Way, up to a total of $250,000.
Additionally, Toyota installed a #LetsJoinHands outdoor touchboard that combined live video feeds with real-time collaborative drawing tools—such as tweets or emojis—to create a dialogue between participants in New York City’s Herald Square and the Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles from August 12-14. Participants had the opportunity to email or tweet video captures of their drawing sessions directly from the screens.
“Teamwork is ingrained in Toyota’s DNA—it’s a founding principle,” said Jack Hollis, group vice president of Marketing. “We believe, as our founder did, in the ‘power of togetherness’ and athletics is an amazing example of the power of teamwork. While we do not compete at the highest levels of sport on the playing field ourselves these days, many Toyota team members did in their younger years. We try to find ways to support and celebrate this spirit every day, whether it is within the walls of Toyota, or in our interactions with our guests.”
You can view a special 90-second online version of the ad by clicking here.
A Latino Component
Concurrent with this campaign, Toyota introduced a Spanish-speaking social media campaign that went far beyond a simple translation of the English ads. Rather, this effort tapped into the tendency of Latinos to celebrate the victories of people from all Latin countries, not just their own.
This was promoted in two ways. The first was a series of spots in which prominent citizens of Puerto Rico, Mexico, Columbia and the U.S. Hispanic community shared what they love most about their distinct cultures. The second was a call to action to Latino viewers to share their similarly unique passions through social media posts.

Setting the Stage for 2020
From a business perspective, Toyota’s objective with these campaigns is to help define the brand on a global scale. The Olympic Games’ broad reach makes it the ideal platform upon which to make that case.
“The Olympics provided us with a great opportunity to tell a story about what Toyota values,” says Mia Phillips, national manager of Brand & Multicultural Marketing. “Our intent was to promote the larger brand perspective. It was about communicating who we are, what we represent and what we’re passionate about as a company.”
This undertaking will shift into a higher gear when Toyota becomes a top-tier global Olympic sponsor—the first automaker to have that status— in January. Hopefully, the momentum initiated in Rio will continue to build until Toyota becomes the lead sponsor of the next Summer Games—to be held in Tokyo in 2020.
“Rio was our test run,” says Phillips “We will take the great learnings from our integrated campaign efforts during this year’s Olympic games and immediately begin to apply them to our plans for the global campaign. Now the fun begins.”
By Dan Miller

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