Super Bowl Ads: The Reinvented Toyota Camry ... and a Blender That Plays Lionel Richie

For some people, scrutinizing the Super Bowl ads is just as much (or more) fun than watching the game itself. This week, I'll be previewing the auto industry's advertising campaigns scheduled to air during the game.

As we look ahead to the big game on Feb. 5, I can't help but wonder: Which automakers will hit paydirt with their high-priced Super Bowl ads, and which automakers will fumble at the goal line?

If this extended preview of Toyota's Super Bowl ad is any indication, the auto industry is sure to generate plenty of buzz around the water cooler on Monday. (I watched it twice just to see the blender that plays Lionel Richie songs.)

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The commercial, created by Saatchi & Saatchi LA, will air during the third quarter of Sunday's game, according to Toyota. The ad is one of two 30-second spots that the automaker has purchased during the game.

The ads will mark Toyota's first Super Bowl advertising in three years, and the timing seems perfect. After a series of recent setbacks -- manmade and natural -- that bumped the automaker from No. 1 to No. 2 in global vehicle sales, Toyota stands to gain a lot from reintroducing itself to the Super Bowl's international audience.

"Reinvention is a powerful idea and one we took to heart when we redesigned America's most popular car with the launch of the 2012 Camry and elevated it above the competition," said Bill Fay, group vice president of marketing at Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. "The Super Bowl provides a forum to really drive home the reinvention message of the seventh-generation Camry, using humor to resonate with the American public."

As is the trend, Toyota will be leveraging social media to get the most out of its marketing dollars.

The automaker will encourage viewers to "tweet with the #Reinvented hashtag about what they'd like to see reinvented, and selected tweets will be responded to in real-time with a creative depiction of their idea," according to Toyota.

For a once-mighty automaker that has taken its lumps over the past few years, the ad campaign seems like just what Toyota needs right now.

My prediction: Toyota's "Reinvented" ad campaign will hit paydirt with Super Bowl viewers.

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