Toyota urges millennials to skip its newest ad

When it comes to skipping pre-roll ads, the Association of Quebec Toyota Dealers has decided to embrace the trend rather than fight it.

What’s more irritating — pre-roll ads, or conversations with your dad?

If your answer is “both,” you might be a millennial — and the target demographic for the Association of Quebec Toyota Dealers’ latest duo of digital ads.

The short videos begin with a simple message: that many young adults still depend on their parents for rides. The message is then followed by a commercial shot from the point-of-view of the passenger, riding with their father. The father then launches into a conversation with details way too intimate for most grown children (in one ad, his plans for a romantic getaway with his wife, in the other, a lesson on the female anatomy). Shortly before the YouTube “Skip Ad” button appears, a fake button on the screen emerges that says “Skip Dad.”

For those who make it to the end, there is a short bit on Toyota’s current lease plans in Quebec. But for those who choose to “Skip Dad,” the ad still serves a purpose — brand building with a target demo Toyota Quebec has never actively pursued before.

“Our past efforts have been very broad and more traditional executions,” said Valerie Beauchesne, media strategy director for Bleublancrouge (BBR), the agency that did both creative and media for the ad. “This is our first time really going after millennials.”

Charles Beaulieu, director of digital and programmatic at BBR, said the ad aims to turn an industry problem into a solution and working that into the creative and media execution.

“We know that pre-roll ads are seen as super intrusive from a media perspective,” Beaulieu told¬†MiC.¬†“We’re working with that reality instead of working against it.”

The video ads are also being supported by surrounding banner ads. They are mainly aligned with millennial-friendly vlog, comedy and lifestyle content while also being positioned on premium “catch-up” video on VOD site

Overall, said Beaulieu, skipping ads may be a challenge in the industry, but it’s not as big of a deal as it’s been made out to be.

“It really just challenges us to be more targeted with the creative,” said Beaulieu.