The Colonie, Burrell Drive Home New Toyota Campaign

It’s all about the joy of the ride. That’s the message delivered by Toyota’s new multi-model media campaign out of Burrell. The agency partnered with The Colonie on the package of 21 spots featuring scenarios showcasing drivers and passengers alike experiencing the plethora of positive feelings evoked when they take to the road in their Toyota vehicles.

Burrell Communications utilized the efficiency and creative ingenuity of The Colonie’s experienced staff of editors, visual effects talent, motion graphics arts, colorists, and finishers, ensuring that each vignette optimized the short form of social media to deliver an engaging visual story while meeting a tight deadline.

The Colonie has a long history of working with Burrell on Toyota alongside CCO Lewis Williams and Creative Director Corey Seaton. We have a shorthand between all of us which allows us to work quickly and efficiently. That was especially important on this package considering the amount of spots and the quick timeline,” says Colonie Partner and Executive Producer Mary Caddy.

The spot “Like Father, Like Son” opens with a dad taking a drive with his young son in their Toyota as they both groove to a tune playing on the sound system. When the father pushes the ‘sport’ button on the car’s console the sudden burst of speed quickly shifts their chill feeling to one of excitement.

Let’s take this 15 second spot for a spin…

Another spot, ‘’Looking Good,’ features a woman with a bold style exuding a feeling of self-confidence as she heads to the city in her Toyota.  The spot takes advantage of the vertical format using split screens to show that her penchant for red extends to the design elements of her stylish sedan.

Driving Through the Post Process

Editor Bob Ackerman and Graham Chapman spearheaded the package, which includes a mix of standard :15 16×9 cuts, as well as various lengths of social edits for square and vertical formats.  During the eight-day location shoot in Australia, Ackerman and Chapman began cutting as soon as they received footage and were ready to present edit options for all of the spots a few days after the production wrapped.

The Colonie’s VFX Artist Tom Dernulc created a variety of digital effects for the spots.  A composited shot integrates a herd of goats on a mountain into practical footage, an urban street was comped into the top of a construction pit, and an ocean scene was augmented with a brilliant sunset. Footage of the vehicles required numerous digital fixes. Since the campaign was shot in Australia, street signs and other elements were replaced, altering environments to make it appear that all of the scenarios were shot in the US. 

“Finisher/Visual Effects Artist Tom Dernulc is brought on board at the start of each job, and is part of our process from day one,” says Ackerman.  “It’s important that all of our departments come together during the editing process and work as a single team, bringing their insights and exchanging ideas as we move forward. Every department has something valuable to contribute to the overall storytelling. The size, diversity, and culture of The Colonie supports that kind of collaborative approach.”

Creative Director Jennifer Moody added motion design to a half dozen stand-alone IG stories.  Clients have come to depend on The Colonie’s expertise in the social media sphere.

“Based on our experience creating content for social media we are a go-to resource when companies want visual stories that grabs the attention of viewers across various platforms“ adds Caddy.

“This was a large campaign with a lot of moving parts,” says Chapman. “it was important to keep lines of communication open and have immediate access to content during every phase of the job. Working closely with our home-based team ensured that the spots stayed consistent when it came to the titles and story formatting that needed to be maintained throughout all of the 21 different stories.”

Team-Driven Collaborative Approach

The Colonie has been utilizing remote technology and refining its pipeline for years, working with editors on-set and talent based throughout the country.  When the pandemic made the ability to work from home essential, the company’s road-tested approach enabled it to seamlessly adapt to a remote business model without its team sacrificing the real-time accessibility, collaborative workflow, or efficiency that it relies on when working under the same roof.

“The Colonie has effectively collaborated through the forward-thinking use of technology and a creative process that benefits from our well-established WFH protocols,” says Ackerman. “A team-driven collaborative approach has always been central to our philosophy, and we had everything in place to continue that virtually.”

“Working with our team remotely, we’re able to explore visual effects and design as seamlessly as if we were in our studio,” says Chapman, “When working with the agency, our Clearview streaming system allows creatives and producers to interact with edits in real-time a job progresses – instead of dealing with the often frustrating process of waiting for a long series of postings.” 

“The Colonie was structured to work with a diverse, integrated team of talent under one roof. At the same time,” adds Ackerman. “Our experience working with a remote model will continue to provide us with flexibility and a complement of capabilities well into the future.”


 CLIENT: Toyota


 :15s : “Clutch,” “Dance Floor,” “Fish,” “Good Vibes,” “Like Father Like Son”

:06s: “Alley,” “Bounce,” “Close Encounter,” “Fashion Forward,” “Larger than Life,” “Muddy Morning,” “Rays,” “Reflection,” “Tilt”

 IG Stories: “Grip,” “Like Father Like Son,” “Looking Good,” “Muddy,” “So Fresh,” “Surprise”

TYPE: Social Media       

AGENCY/CLIENT: Burrell Communication /Chicago         

            CCO: Lewis Williams

            VP Creative Director: Corey Seaton

            Producer:  Cathy Antoniello

            Producer: Carlo Treviso

            Producer: Fabiola Auxila

Senior Copywriter: Adam Yencho

Senior Art Director: Wes Jones

Senior Art Director: Vinh Tran

Copywriter: Justin Grady


            Director: Joel Harmsworth

            Producer: Ari Hakim     

EDITORIAL COMPANY: The Colonie / Chicago

            Creative Editor: Bob Ackerman

            Creative Editor: Graham Chapman

            Assistant Editor: Priscilla Perez

            Finishing: Tom Dernulc

            Executive Producer: Mary Caddy

VFX /Design Company: The Colonie / Chicago                

            Creative Director: Jennifer Moody

VFX Artist: Tom Dernulc

Motion Graphics Designer: Jeff Boworiak

Executive Producer: Mary Caddy


            Colorist: Jennifer Gaida

AUDIO + SOUND DESIGN COMPANY: Noise Floor / Chicago                    

            Mixer: Cory Coken

            Sound Designer: Cory Coken

MUSIC: Stock

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