Burrell makes life grander in Toyota’s Grand Highlander

(Courtesy Toyota)

The 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander is no ordinary SUV. It’s Toyota’s most powerful midsize SUV to date, and this marketing campaign is designed to let the world know it.

Now, the automaker is making a grand entrance with its latest marketing campaign for the 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander. Aptly titled “Life’s Grander in the Grand Highlander,” this campaign, created by Burrell aims to shine a spotlight on Toyota’s first-ever three-row SUV, emphasizing its spaciousness, design, and the impressive Hybrid MAX powertrain.

But that’s not all; what makes this campaign even more exciting is that it marks the commercial directorial debut of none other than Pretty Bird’s Kenya Barris, the creative genius behind the hit TV show Blackish.

Two captivating spots in this campaign stand out. The first spot, “Back There,” features playful kids enjoying the spacious backseat of the Grand Highlander. Mom puts a humorous and heartwarming twist on the classic phrase, “Don’t make me come back there!” It’s a delightful take on family dynamics during a road trip. Watch below:

The second, titled “HBCU Tour,” takes viewers on a college visit trip with a family in the Grand Highlander. What makes it interesting is that the proud parents from rival colleges find themselves in a tug of war, vying for their son to choose their legacy HBCU. Please note this was not available for viewing.

Lisa Materazzo, Group Vice President of Toyota Marketing at Toyota Motor North America, stated, “The campaign shines a spotlight on the first-ever 2024 Grand Highlander – the latest addition to Toyota’s bold SUV lineup. Featuring the Grand Highlander’s beautiful design and spacious interior, the campaign is inspired by the reality that life, with all its unexpected surprises, is pretty grand.”

The “Life’s Grander in the Grand Highlander” campaign isn’t limited to one platform. Toyota has embraced an integrated marketing approach, extending the campaign across linear TV, digital video, digital content, cinema, programmatic, paid social, audio, and search.

Viewers can catch these spots during high-profile network prime time, cable, prime novelas, and sports programming, including Thursday and Sunday Night Football. The digital content and video partnerships span platforms like Hulu, YouTube, MAX, Sensical, and Pandora.

Additionally, the campaign extends into the realm of paid social media advertising, reaching audiences on platforms such as TikTok, Meta, Snapchat, Reddit, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. The campaign also features partnerships with various entities, including Bustle’s “Camp Romper,” Moveable Feast, Amazon, Uber Eats, and The Weather Channel.


CLIENT: Toyota

  • Client Name(s): Michael Moore (General Manager), Michael Tripp (VP Vehicle Marketing & Communications), Lisa Materazzo (Group Vice President)
  • Senior Marketing Manager: Ben Haushalter
  • Marketing Manager: Beatris Diaz

AGENCY: Burrell Communications

  • Chief Creative Officer: Khari Streeter
  • Executive Creative Director: Corey Seaton
  • Creative Director: Stanley Yorker
  • Sr. Art Directors: Claudio Garcia and Nicholas Anglin
  • Copywriter: Payton Cianfarano
  • Executive Producer: Shirley Portee
  • Managing Director: Vicki Bolton
  • Group Account Director: Jihan West
  • VP/Director-Consumer Insights: Tonya Roberts
  • Director of Strategic Planning: Jeffrey N. Fortune, II
  • Senior Media Relations Strategist: Ronald E. Childs
  • Associate Director, Business Affairs: Maryam Ohebsion
  • Business Affairs Manager: Constance Rencher


  • Executive Producer: Ali Brown
  • Line Producer: James Graves
  • Director: Kenya Barris
  • Director of Photography: Toby Irwin

EDIT: White House

  • Executive Producer (Editing): Joanna Manning
  • Producer (Editing): Annie Mladanado
  • Editor: Heidi Black

TELECINE: Company 3

Color Artist: Tom Poole

FINISH: Carbon

  • Finishing Producer: Vanessa Yee
  • Executive Producer (Finish): Gretchen Praeger

MUSIC: Brandon Williams

MIX: Chicago Recording Company (Engineer: Ian Scott)

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