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By Kendra Barnett, Associate Editor

May 22, 2024 | 5 min read

In a high-energy TV spot from the automotive giant, the actors blaze their own paths back to civilization, relying solely on the Land Cruiser’s capabilities – and a little help from their teammates.

Academy Award-winning actor Hilary Swank stars alongside actor and comedian Jimmy O Yang in a new, high-octane short film for Toyota, promoting the brand’s all-new 2024 Land Cruiser.

The three-minute film, Land Cruiser Get Back Challenge, showcases a classic man-versus-nature plot with a branded spin. The stars are blindfolded and dropped on a remote, snowy embankment. Their task? To find their way back to civilization, navigating a series of challenges – while relying on nothing but the Land Cruiser and its features to get them there. A satellite phone serves as their last resort, signaling the end of the adventure if used.

Viewers are immediately thrown into the action – helicopters are seen dropping Land Cruisers on to the mountainside. Swank teams up with her friend Deon Taylor and Yang partners with his father Richard Ouyang. Split into teams, they’re off to the races. Swank and Taylor head for the high desert, while Yang and his father opt for a mountainous route.

Swank is immediately in her element. “I love the outdoors and I love trucks,” she said. “So driving the new Toyota Land Cruiser in the Land Cruiser Get Back Challenge was a blast. I ended up on a really rocky and muddy course during the Challenge and the Land Cruiser adapted over everything incredibly well.”

Yang, meanwhile, is less comfortable navigating the outdoor terrain – plus, he’s teamed up with his father, who nags about his driving the entire way.

Nonetheless, both Swank and Yang face hardships on the first day – Taylor is even tempted to resort to the satellite phone for help with he and Swank get lost. Both teams end up camping out in the wilderness for the night.

As the adventure continues into the next day, viewers get a glimpse into the vehicle’s durability and offroading-friendly features, including its powertrain, four-wheel drive and multi-terrain capabilities. It’s these design elements that enable Swank and Yang to climb steep grades and traverse both muddy and icy conditions on their journeys back to civilization.

After the experiment, Yang joked about the real hardships he faced along the way, saying: “I was excited to go on an adventure in the Land Cruiser, but it was a challenge of a lifetime to survive my dad’s complaints in the wilderness. It wasn’t an easy journey, but it was a great father and son bonding experience that we’ll never forget.”

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This campaign builds on the reputation of the Land Cruiser – originally launched in 1958 – as a rugged, reliable option for adventurers while aiming to engage a younger generation of consumers, the brand said in an announcement today.

“It was great to watch Hilary Swank and Jimmy O. Yang put the new Land Cruiser to the test, demonstrating its unmatched ability to conquer diverse terrains and obstacles in their quest to ‘get back,’” said Mike Tripp, Toyota’s marketing group vice-president. “Land Cruiser retains its legendary capability, and we are excited for the world to experience the next edition of this iconic SUV.”

The short film was created by Saatchi & Saatchi and directed by Patrick Deluca.

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