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      Toyota Uses Pinball Themed Advert to Re-Launch Their Supra Model

      After years of rumors, Toyota Motor Company officially announced in late 2018 that the sporty Supra model would be re-introduced into their lineup as a 2-seater 3.0 litre twin-scroll turbocharged inline six cylinder engined rear-wheel-drive upscale coupe. The new Supra was first shown to the public at the 2019 International Auto Show in Detroit, MI, USA.

      The official North American reveal for the 2020 Supra model (known as GR Supra globally) was in the form of a 60-second commercial advertisement shown February 3rd, 2019 during the TV coverage of Super Bowl LIII.

      The Toyota Super Bowl ad begins with the driver dropping in a quarter and hitting the ‘launch’ button, then revving the engine of his silver-colored Supra before ‘launching’ down a long, neon-lit roadway.

      The background music is Pinball Wizard from rock group The Who’s 1969 opus, Tommy.

      The Supra then makes its way onto a life sized single-level playfield loaded with a number of obstacles, including a spinner, bumpers and light-up panels that the driver easily runs over. At one point during the ad the Supra driver barely misses being collected by a rotating obstacle with a menacing face and evil-looking ‘teeth’.

      The pinball playfield in Toyota's new Supra advertisement
      The pinball playfield in Toyota’s new Supra advertisement

      Eventually, the Supra rolls over different letters on the playfield to activate the word ‘Supra’ on the game’s playfield and a DMD-esque backglass display.

      The advertisement was directed by Golden Globe nominated director and screenwriter Marc Forster.  Forster is known for directing powerful performances in films like Monster’s Ball and The Kite Runner. The ‘Wizard’ TV commercial was created by Toyota’s North American ad agency, Saatchi & Saatchi.

      This is not the first time that Toyota has used a pinball theme in its television advertising. In 1985, Toyota introduced its MR-2 mid-engined sports car with a life-sized pinball themed advert. Despite the similarities between the two commercials, a Toyota spokesperson said that any resemblance is coincidental.

      The 2020 Toyota Supra made its sporting debut February 16, 2019 at The NASCAR Racing Experience 300. This event is a supporting race for the 2019 Daytona 500 held annually in Daytona Beach, FL, USA.

      The highest finish by a NASCAR XFinity series Toyota Supra in the 2019 race was 3rd by Brandon Jones after Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Jeffrey Earnhardt (grandson of NASCAR Hall of Fame NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt), started his number 18 iK9 sponsored Toyota Supra on the pole position.

      Ironically the two drivers that finished the race ahead of Jones are teammates for JR Motorsports, which is owned by Jeffrey Earnhardt’s uncle, Dale Earnhardt Junior.

      In the Toyota product display area at Daytona International Speedway, Toyota had a re-themed Williams High Speed pinball game that visitors to the display could play.

      The GR Supra conversion of High Speed
      The GR Supra conversion of High Speed

      The re-theme was quite professionally done and the graphics are very similar to the ‘game’ used in the television commercial. It however was set to free play so it wasn’t possible to drop a quarter to mimic the opening of the TV commercial.

      The front of the GR Supra pinball
      The front of the GR Supra pinball
      The GR Supra playfield
      The GR Supra playfield

      Captures of the ‘Wizard’ TV commercial used with permission of Toyota North America via their press kit. Photographs at Daytona International Speedway used with permission of David Brooks via Facebook.