Cannes Lions

Black Sheep

SAATCHI & SAATCHI, Los Angeles / TOYOTA / 2023

Film
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Overview

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Overview

Background

Everybody knows the Prius is fuel efficient and eco-friendly. It was the first mass-market hybrid vehicle, launching the alt fuel revolution. But a quarter century later, people thought they knew everything there was to know about Prius. Its practical benefits aside, it was considered boring, slow and lame to the point that the phrase “Cool Prius.” became a common punchline. The 2023 model underwent a bold transformation, designed to induce double-takes and defy expectations. Because the all-new Prius is faster, sleeker and more beautiful than anyone would have ever thought possible. We were tasked with creating a film that would provoke people and challenge anything they’d expect to see from Prius. Because after 25 years of snide remarks and stale “cool Prius” jokes, we needed to fundamentally change the world’s perceptions of one of the most iconic and divisive vehicles.

Execution

“Black Sheep” opens on a lone sheep walking down a deserted downtown street. In the subsequent shots, we see sheep behaving like cars. Three sheep stand idly at a row of parking meters. A garage door rolls up revealing three more. Small flocks make their way in and out of a gas station. One of them gnaws on a receipt at the pump. A larger group wait expectantly at an intersection and only move forward once the light turns green. It’s obvious they’ve taken over the city. Suddenly, a dark shape slowly advances through the sheep, which part like the seas for the mysterious vehicle. A glimpse of the rear badge reveals the name “Prius” before an overhead shot shows the Prius traveling against the flow of the sheep. Once it clears the flock, the Prius accelerates down the road, onto a bridge, and away from the city.

Outcome

In its latest campaign efforts, Prius strives to change the world’s perception of one of the most iconic and divisive vehicles through its “Black Sheep” commercial. The all-new Prius underwent a bold transformation, and the creative challenges the preconceived notion that the Prius is not a stylish car by showing off its sleek new exterior. Thus far, the video has appeared on high profile network prime cable, and sports programming including NBA Playoffs and Finals, MLB Sunday Night games, NFL Draft, Gold Cup Tournament, WillowTV, and shows including “The Great North,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and more. “Black Sheep” was also featured on HBO Max as a part of their Sequential Stories placement.

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