• Toyota’s GR 86 Ad Campaign With Initial D And Keiichi Tsuchiya Is Marketing Done Right

Toyota is marketing the new GR 86 the right way

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Let’s be honest, a lot of car ads don’t exactly excite us these days. There’s the stuff that Marvel and Lexus did for Eternals—which looks too much of a product placement rather than a showcase of what the IS 500 F Sport Performance is capable of. And then there’s this latest campaign by Toyota, which is one of those ads that truly brought our adrenaline up and running.

Japanese car fans will immediately recognize Initial D, a manga that was then adapted into an anime and then a movie. For this ad campaign with Toyota, Takumi Fujiwara and the Toyota Sprinter Trueno AE86 he uses for delivering tofu meets his match in the form of the new Toyota GR 86.

The campaign itself is called FasterClass and it’s actually a bigger ad campaign that also involves Stephan Papadakis—the owner of Papadakis Racing, one of the most successful Formula Drift teams.

Toyota's GR 86 Ad Campaign With Initial D And Keiichi Tsuchiya Is Marketing Done Right
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Toyota has just launched an ad campaign for the GR 86 called "FasterClass" and its main highlight its its collaboration with the makers of Initial D.

But before the Papadakis Racing involvement, let’s first talk about the Initial D segment. The ad series consists of three 15-second films which should be viewed in the following order: Mastering The Craft, Pursuit, and then The Challenge.

The three-part ad begins with Fujiwara-san taking its AE86 Sprinter Trueno GT-Apex out for a spin on an empty road. Eventually, a new Toyota GR 86 appears in his rearview mirror. The second part of the film then showcases the perspective from the GR 86, in which we now see Keiichi Tsuchiya behind the wheel of the new sports car.

Turns out, Keiichi Tsuchiya is a FasterClass recruiter as portrayed in this ad series. By the time the two meet each other at the end, Tsuchiya-san welcomes Fujiwara-san into FasterClass which indicates that the young tofu delivery driver was able to meet the crew’s criteria.

Toyota's GR 86 Ad Campaign With Initial D And Keiichi Tsuchiya Is Marketing Done Right
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The FasterClass campaign also involves the "Drift King", aka Keiichi Tsuchiya, as he evaluates whether Takumi Fujiawara is worthy of joining the crew.

So, what is FasterClass in the first place? Well, according to Toyota, FasterClass is "where the masters of the road assemble and where skills are honed and driving potential is realized." Sounds like an Avengers team that mostly consists of drifters, but it’s a crew we’d be happy to join anyway.

In the live-action commercial, MasterClass is led by Stephan Papadakis, who leads other drivers, namely Fredric Aasbo, Hunter Taylor, Ryan Tuerck, and Ken Gushi. The ad series also showcases the "Urban Professors" which highlights "real people who embody street smarts." Basically, the second ad emphasizes how delivery truck drivers or paramedics are the true masters of the streets, which will enable them to take the GR 86’s capabilities to its fullest when the city is closed and safe for them to play around in.

Toyota's GR 86 Ad Campaign With Initial D And Keiichi Tsuchiya Is Marketing Done Right
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The entire ad series, from the Initial D collaboration to the ones involving real-world drivers, is definitely worth your time. There’s plenty of engine revving and tire-shredding that, to be honest, is something that even the newest films from The Fast and The Furious franchise fail to replicate.

Toyota also did a similar ad series in the UK for the previous generation 86, wherein the sports car was coated in the same black and white livery that Takumi Fujiwara’s AE86 is wearing.

Another Toyota ad is also quite similar to the tire-shredding action we see here with the GR 86, which was a marketing campaign for the GR Supra. The ad is called "The Pitch", and it makes fun of conventional car marketing. The ad has amassed over 15 million views at this point, and it seems based on the comments section, viewers enjoyed watching this ad a lot.

Toyota's GR 86 Ad Campaign With Initial D And Keiichi Tsuchiya Is Marketing Done Right
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Please continue with such ads, Toyota. They make us car enthusiasts excited about your cars. Likewise, it’s also targeting the right people, which are people who love driving.

Isaac Atienza
Isaac Atienza is a Filipino motoring journalist who joined TopSpeed.com in 2021. He is a car enthusiast who especially thinks that wagons are the best type of vehicle, though sports cars and anything with three pedals also tickles his fancy.  Read full bio
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