Never underestimate yourself.

Toyota has some great ideas for this year’s Super Bowl. Last week, the Japanese manufacturer revealed its entertaining ad from Lexus – or should we say a four-minute mini-film, and now the Toyota brand itself is introducing its spot for the Big Game. The marque puts the spotlight on “two game-changers” – the new RAV4 Hybrid and female football player Antoinette “Toni” Harris.

Promoting its latest electrified SUV offering, Toyota says it’s “a hybrid that will defy expectations and redefine what it means to be a hybrid.” It’s described as the vehicle that will “shatter perceptions of hybrids” and that’s the main connection with Harris – the 22-year-old Detroit native is “shattering perceptions of a football player.” Toni is the first female football player to play a non-specialist position and is also the first and only female player to date to be offered a full scholarship as a non-specialist on defense.

Gallery: Toyota 2019 Super Bowl commercial

“I am thrilled to partner with Toyota on our like-minded quest to defy expectations, lead the charge without compromise, and overcome adversity,” she comments. “I hope this will inspire others who are experiencing a similar journey.”

The ad is directed by Joe Pytka who has more than 80 Super Bowl commercials and will be aired in the first ad break of the second quarter of Super Bowl LIII. The clip focuses on all the bad things Harris has heard about herself in the past – that she’s too slow, too small, and she’d never get to the next level of football.

“We’re excited to highlight Toni’s inspirational story during the Big Game and remind viewers that assumptions should always be challenged,” Ed Laukes, group vice president, Toyota Marketing, says. “The team realized quickly that Toni spent her life defying expectations and would be the perfect spokesperson to reinforce the RAV4 Hybrid defying-expectations message in the spot.”

Source: Toyota

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PLANO, Texas (January 29, 2019) – Toyota returns to the 2019 Super Bowl with a spotlight on two game-changers - the all-new 2019 RAV4 HV (RAV4 Hybrid) and powerhouse female football player Antoinette “Toni” Harris.

The Super Bowl spot, which will appear toward the end of the second quarter, features the 2019 RAV4 HV (XSE HV grade, specifically), a hybrid that will defy expectations and redefine what it means to be a hybrid. Performance-wise, the 2019 RAV4 HV is truly the no-compromise crossover sport utility vehicle thanks to its enhanced power and acceleration.

“The 2019 RAV4 HV is the vehicle that will shatter perceptions of hybrids, much like how Toni is shattering perceptions of a football player,” said Ed Laukes, group vice president, Toyota Marketing, Toyota Motor North America. “We’re excited to highlight Toni’s inspirational story during the Big Game and remind viewers that assumptions should always be challenged.”

Narrated by sportscaster Jim Nantz, the spot features 22-year-old Detroit native Toni Harris, the first female football player to play a non-specialist position. She is also the first and only female player to be offered a full scholarship as a non-specialist on defense. As a sophomore defensive back (free safety) at East Los Angeles College, Toni has received four scholarship offers from universities excited to help her continue her journey on and off the field.

“I am thrilled to partner with Toyota on our like-minded quest to defy expectations, lead the charge without compromise and overcome adversity,” said Harris. “I hope this will inspire others who are experiencing a similar journey.”

Directed by legendary Super Bowl director Joe Pytka who has directed more than 80 Super Bowl commercials, “Toni” was Pytka’s first time working with Toyota. “Toni’s story and the Toyota RAV4 HV narrative complement each other nicely and it was a true pleasure to feature them during the most-watched television event of the year,” said Pytka.

More than four years ago, Toyota adopted a cohesive marketing approach, inclusive of multicultural marketing, bringing together its agencies into a total market model called Total Toyota or T2. The Total Toyota team, includes Saatchi & Saatchi, Burrell Communications, Conill Advertising & interTrend, with Zenith placing TV and outdoor media buys.

For this year’s Big Game, Burrell Communications created and produced Toni’s story, with additional support from both Saatchi & Saatchi and Zenith Media.