Becoming Highlander: The Watch Party

At its core, Becoming Highlander is a story about Toyota’s commitments to both its customers and American manufacturing.
But what is it? Well, this new documentary produced by Toyota’s Corporate Communications team tells the story of what happens between the reveal of one of America’s most popular mid-size SUVs and its on-sale date.
A Behind the scenes look at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana – where the Highlander is assembled – shows the delicate dance between training team members on the new generation while keeping up with demand for the 2019 model.
Meanwhile, Toyota’s Marketing team works with its advertising agency of record, Saatchi & Saatchi, to create a commercial for America’s most-watched sporting event (Actually, it’s the Super Bowl. We can say it here, but not in Becoming Highlander.).  
After more than a year of production, Becoming Highlander will be unveiled to team members at a virtual watch party on Wednesday, June 23 at 1 p.m. Central. Team members will get a chance to watch the full 43-minute, 7-chapter documentary before its public release the next day. If you want a sneak preview, we’re releasing Chapter 1 today. Just watch above as Jack Hollis, GVP and GM of the Toyota Division, unveils the Highlander to media last April in New York.
What did we learn as producers? Toyota’s commitment to its customers is real. The people featured in Becoming Highlander – and thousands more who weren’t – worked tirelessly to get this launch right. And while the end result never really seems in doubt (“failure is not an option,” says John Payne, Saatchi’s creative lead) there were certainly some tightrope walks along the way.
Becoming Highlander is the story of one vehicle, one commercial, one plant – but mostly, the people who make it possible. We’re Toyota. This is what we do. And we’re proud to bring it to you on June 23.
By Dan Nied and Kristen Orsborn