Campaign Review: Toyota Corolla and Destination Gold Coast go dancing

In Campaign Review, Mumbrella invites the industry's creatives and strategists to offer their views on recent ad campaigns. For this week's Campaign Review, Mumbrella asks Special Group's Nathan Rogers and TBWA\Sydney's Meredith Besseling to review musical style spots created by HERO for Toyota Corolla and Publicis International for Destination Gold Coast.

Brand: Toyota Corolla 

Campaign: ‘Never Stop Smiling

Agency: HERO

The verdict: Fun and joyful with a strong narrative

Meredith Besseling, creative at TBWA\Sydney gave it a 6/10, saying:

Well produced, bright and vibrant, the dance sequences in this one are more enticing and well-choreographed. Making your commute into the best part of your day is a nice proposition for all those suburban dwelling corolla drivers.

While still using the ‘dance to show joy’ technique, it feels more like a journey rather than a montage, and the single minded narrative helps land a stronger central concept.

Nathan Rogers, strategy director at Special Group, gave it a 9/10, saying:

In a world where over-the-top or super serious car advertising seems to have taken hold (thanks Suzuki for keeping it real); HERO feels like it has really flipped the script with this new Corolla platform.

There’s something that is just fun, joyful and energetic about small, zippy city cars – we’ve all had them and we’ve all got a little place in our heart for them.

And this is an emotional strategy that aims to stoke this – to bring some joy and fun to the Corolla which, let’s face it; has become a pretty safe and dull choice you end up settling for when you’re really thinking about other cars.

Creatively, singing and dancing isn’t really my thing. But I think people will love it and the unbridled joy that it brings.

It does exactly what a brand ad should do – it doesn’t jam clumsy features in there at the expense of the narrative. It will work its way into the heart well before it sticks in the brain – which is exactly the right way around.

Brand: Destination Gold Coast 

Campaign: ‘Play the day away

Agency: Publicis International

The verdict: Fun but lacks a strong central idea

Meredith gave it a 6/10, saying:

It’s definitely the ‘dance to show joy’ era of advertising.

Overall, does a great job of showcasing the familiar Gold Coast attractions we’ve been missing through COVID. The bright colours and sunshine (and of course the dancing) capture that Winter on the Gold Coast feeling well. However, it does little to move beyond the classic tourism montage, and lacks a strong central idea to bring the execution together in an unexpected way.

Nathan gave it a 4/10, saying:

Judging by the write up, this was a campaign designed to demonstrate that the Gold Coast is more than just beaches and theme parks – but has a restaurant scene and rainforests.

Obviously research has told them it is important and will drive new people to the region but I guess the strategic question is – to what expense?

You’re competing with Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane on the food scene and your neighbours to the north on rainforests – and that feels like you’re biting off more than you can chew.

This is trying to be everything to everyone – and what you get out of it is an ad that shows you all the things possible; rather than honing in on what makes the Goldie the destination for families.

The creative is well executed against the brief… i just question the value of the brief.

As told to Kalila Welch. If you’re a senior creative or strategist who would like to take part in a future Campaign Review, please email


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