By Barry Janoff
January 29, 2013: Kaley Cuoco, star of CBS's The Big Bang Theory, gets to channel Barbara Eden from the 1960s TV show, I Dream of Jeannie in Toyota's humorous 60-second Super Bowl XLVII spot.
In "Wish Granted," Cuoco is the Genie who comes with a new Toyota RAV4, granting every wish a family requests — although not always to their liking.
The spot is scheduled to air during the first quarter of Sunday's game on CBS, part of Toyota's Super Bowl Sunday marketing plan that also includes two other new spots — one highlighting the Tundra Endeavour and the other focusing on the recently-launched company direction, "Let's Go Places" — as well as the Toyota Super Bowl Today Post-Game Show.
Toyota's lead agency is Saatchi & Saatchi LA.
"The all-new RAV4 is a testament to the people that drive it and live lifestyles that are full of energy and enthusiasm, which is one of the reasons we are so pumped to work with Kaley to showcase it," Jack Hollis, vp-Toyota division marketing for Toyota Motor Sales, USA,, said in a statement. "We wanted to share Toyota's 'Let's Go Places' spirit of journey with viewers of the big game in a light and relatable way."
The spot opens with the Henderson family arriving home with a new Toyota RAV4. Apparently, the salesperson who sold them the vehicle neglected to tell them that it comes with a genie and her dog.
"I'm your RAV4 Genie," Cuocco tells them as she appears in a puff of purple smoke. "Your wish is my command."
Dad wishes that "the old spare tire was gone," meaning the excess weight around his waist. But Genie has other ideas and makes the spare tire on the RAV4 vanish.
The family's young daughter wishes that animals could talk, so Genie enables two squirrels to have a conversation. Mom wishes she could eat as much chocolate as she wants. The next scene finds a doctor telling mom that her "chocolate levels are dangerously low." So she gets a chocolate IV and some free chocolate samples.
The daughter gets another wish — that she was a princess. Genie transforms her into a Joan of Arc reincarnation leading troops. The family's young son wants to be an astronaut, so Genie sends the entire family into space in their RAV4.
Dad gets a second wish, which turns out no better than his first: Instead of "infinite wishes" Genie has given him "infinite witches." (See the full spot here.)
"As soon as I saw the script, I knew I wanted to be in this commercial because the sense of humor was right up my alley," Cuoco, who also stars in a new Priceline spot as the daughter of The Negotiator (William Shatner), said in statement. "It was so much fun and I'm excited that everyone gets to see it now and again on Sunday."
Toyota has extended the theme into social media, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
Thirty-second spots during Super Bowl XLVII averaged $3.9 million, with some going for $4 million, according to CBS.
Toyota also has its wish granted. The company said this week that it had sold more than 9.7 million vehicles worldwide in 2012, making it the top-selling brand in the world (ahead of General Motors, which sold 9.3 million).
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