The latest installment of Toyota’s holiday Toyotathon commercials is an attempt at emotional storytelling that has many calling it a broadcast first.

This week, the company aired a 100-second ad in between “The Voice” and the fall finale of “This is Us” about a multigenerational family and a beloved tree they all held dear to their hearts. Filmed in California, the commercial featured real family of California actors, including grandparents, their daughter and her husband, and their children.

“The story comes to life because it represents real families,” the director said in a statement. “The central point of the narrative, the tree, is also a metaphor for life and the underlying theme of a matriarch passing on the torch from one generation to the next.”

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“The natural connection with Toyota’s new creative and such a powerful night of family viewing illustrates the power of contextual messaging which still reigns king,” Linda Yaccarino, chairman of advertising sales and client partnerships at NBC Universal, added. “Engaging, emotional creative combined with the unparalleled environment of television is the ultimate platform for a marketer to reach audiences at scale and enhance the consumer experience.”

In the commercial, the family mourns the loss of a tree that has played an important role in all their lives. After chopping up the fallen tree, the family find beautiful ways to incorporate it into the rest of their lives such as creating picture frames and a kitchen table out of it — serving as a beautiful holiday present for the grandparents.

“The winter holiday season seems to get longer every year with retail advertising starting earlier than the year before. Yes, we have retail ads just like our competitors, but we believe it’s also important to remind customers of the true meaning of the holiday season,” added Ed Laukes, group vice president of Toyota division marketing at Toyota Motor North America.

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Carlin Becker About the author:
Carlin Becker is an Associate Content Editor at Rare. Follow her on Twitter @_carlbeck.
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