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Toyota's Quirky Uncle Yaris

So “Toyota”: has started a TV teaser campaign based around “Uncle Yaris”.
The ads feature the “quirky” Uncle Yaris – who looks like he could be my nephew, are uncles really that young these days? – doing “quirky” stuff. Did I mention the ads are “quirky”?
The ads end with a full screen shot of the web address “”:
The ads of course tie in to the Canadian launch of the new sub-compact “Yaris”: that was “announced at the Frankfurt Auto Show”: earlier this month.
I can’t really say I understand this campaign. The site doesn’t _do_ anything and doesn’t ask anything of me (no sign-up or send to a friend or find out what this is about or anything). I can Google Yaris and find out everything I need to about the car – so what exactly is the point of this campaign?
Is it to get people like me to post things like this?


  1. Kim
    Kim September 30, 2005

    I think the point to this ad is it grabs our attention. Actually as stupid as it may seem, it may in fact be a brilliant ad campaign. I like you went searching the site to see what the heck was and left knowing nothing. I then did a google search which landed me here. We are all wondering what the hell yaris is LOL Now we know. Let’s be honest, had Toyota just did a commerical on a Yaris, would we have watched and listened? I wouldn’t have. However, now I can say I know what a Yaris is.

  2. Doug
    Doug September 30, 2005

    I saw an ad for this weirdo in Dose and went to the website. It’s a bit lame but me and all the guys at work were trying to figure out who this guy is so I guess you’re right about it being smart marketing. I still don’t believe a car company would do ads without a car or without even a logo! How is anyone going to know what its for? My girlfriend also thinks he’s cute which is really bugging me.

  3. Cooper
    Cooper September 30, 2005

    My girlfriend thinks he’s cute too. But that’s OK cause I tell her I like Jessica I looked up the car and think it looks good. I wonder though if it really is for the car or if it’s just a coincidence. If it is the car I’ve never seen any ad like this…they’re always about being flashy and sporty and I’m tired of that. It doesn’t make me want to buy that car when all the advertising is the same. I’ll just have to wait and see what this is all about. In the meantime I’ve been visiting every so often to keep up to date. It gives me a bit of humour in the mornings…

  4. Loretta
    Loretta September 30, 2005

    Like you, I had no idea what Yaris was,the ad did catch my attention. So off I went to check it out. Toyota seems to be selling us an updated version of the cancelled Echo.

  5. Kimberly
    Kimberly October 2, 2005

    The commercial definetely caught my attention right away. However, my main question was, what exactly is this commercial advertising? I had seen it twice before I just had to go visit its site. The site didn’t give much information, although I did laugh. Anyways, then I typed in Uncle Yaris on Google and got my answer. It’s just a stupid Toyota ad. I never would’ve guessed.

  6. Chris
    Chris October 3, 2005

    I agree with Kim, it certainly is an attention getter – extremely weird though! Has anyone else played the chickenhead game at where you pop a sheet of bubble wrap – WEIRD!

  7. Simon
    Simon November 6, 2005

    The Millennium generation, the people who use the word ‘Random’ a lot and watch things like Family Guy, has begun to grow up. Many will soon be car-shopping. This targets them. Older people won’t understand it, but people in the right demographic will find it hilarious. This is the first time I’ve seen a large multi-national corporation market things with that particular type of humour…but then, I don’t watch much TV.

  8. Marlin
    Marlin November 27, 2005

    I found the uncle yaris part of the comercials hilarious, and I liked the way they used camera angles and themes with the car to make it a very entertaining commercial, almost made want to go to a dealership and buy one, my favorite ones are the sport one and the music one.

  9. Melyssa Lipsey
    Melyssa Lipsey December 5, 2005

    Yaris haunted me. The ads made my mind race…
    I had seen a few of them and found myself running to the tv whenever I heard the ever familiar guitar riff that initiates the commercial…when would I finally find out what Yaris was? The intrigue was killing me…I started humming the Yaris tune at work…Yaris resonating in my head…(talk about audible branding!)..I was losing it.
    Well now that I know that it is a car, the ads make so much more sense. I know, that is the goal right? Confuse the audience enough to get them curious.
    Yaris, you got me!
    Very creative and I did remember the brand. Toyota scored big with Yaris in my opinion.

  10. Simon
    Simon December 29, 2005

    The whole Uncle Yaris character and advertising campaign was created by two guys at the Toronto agency Saatchi & Saatchi.
    They also created the Toyota ad with the dad telling his son he was cut from the football team and then joined the running club which was recently been spoofed on the Rick Mercer show.

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