Toyota’s latest spot features robots getting to work on behalf of four Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes, striking a welcome and lighthearted touch as momentum builds towards the Tokyo Games.
Part of a collaboration with The & Partnership, the campaign launches ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer and features cyclist Laura Kenny, sport climber Shauna Coxey, sprinter Jonnie Peacock and swimmer Alice Tai – and four very conscientious Human Support Robots (HSRs).
The storyline revolves around the athletes each taking delivery of an HSR to help with their training for Tokyo 2020 but instead of taking advantage of the advanced robot’s full capabilities, they put them to work on daily chores including walking the dog, doing the ironing and carrying the shopping.
The & Partnership worked closely with the robotics teams at Toyota Motor Europe and Kings College London to power the robots throughout the production. The HSR is one of Toyota’s robotics concepts that is now under development as part of the company’s global mission to provide freedom of mobility for all.
The Toyota Research Institute (TRI) is taking the lead in developing advanced technologies that can provide practical help for elderly and disabled people and those recovering from illness or injury.
With its cylindrical body and folding arm, the HSR can pick up objects from the floor and take items from shelves, actions that could prove helpful for everyday tasks.
The HSR is not on general sale to the public, but Toyota has been offering an HSR open innovation platform to research partners worldwide. This is a perfect expression of how Toyota, as a mobility company, wants to make the freedom of movement – and the opportunities that brings – available to everyone in society.
Dominic Gettins, creative director at The & Partnership, said: “In the HSR we found the perfect embodiment of [Toyota as Olympics] Mobility Partner to link to the athletes. It just needed a little human support of its own in the form of creative team, Andreas [Lefteris] and Elson [Rodrigues], director, Jon Barber, and the programmers at Kings College London (KCL), who all worked brilliantly together to develop our robot’s character – advanced, yet spirited.”
Stuart Sanders, Toyota GB director of communications and product, added: “As Official Mobility Partner of Team GB and ParalympicsGB, we are committed to finding better ways to help people move and live freely.
"This campaign not only showcases Toyota’s cutting-edge robotics technology but celebrates our fantastic partnerships with Team GB, ParalympicsGB and our four athletes as we look forward to Tokyo.”
The spot comes as Toyota pulled all Olympic-themed ads on Japanese television during the games, despite its status as one of the International Olympic Committee's top corporate sponsors.
Nor will any brand officials attend the opening ceremony given the public health crisis.