Behind the scenes of the new Yaris TV advert

The latest advert for the all-new Yaris Hybrid was broadcast for the first time on television on the evening of Saturday 5 September 2020. Starring our new supermini resplendent in its Tokyo Fusion Bi-tone colour scheme, the new Yaris TV advert also includes a spectacular performance from gymnast Katelyn Ohashi, somersaulting along a city street through the traffic. Many of you have been asking us, ‘Who is the Toyota gymnast?’, so here is some more information.

We asked Jonny Ratcliffe, Account Director at The&Partnership, Toyota’s creative agency, to explain the background to the advert and how the production crew shut down a busy Cape Town street to conduct the filming.

Who is the star of the new Yaris TV advert and why is she famous?

Jonny Ratcliffe: “Katelyn Ohashi takes the lead role. Katelyn is a world-renowned gymnast, specialising in floor routines. Once an Olympic hopeful, Katelyn became the victim of injuries and body shaming in her teens. Not wanting to give up on her love for the sport, her relentless drive and enthusiasm saw her joining University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Toyota gymnast

“During the Collegiate Challenge against California, Michigan State and UC Davis in 2019, Katelyn was defending National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Floor Exercise Champion and broke the Internet when her routine landed a perfect score of 10.0. The video of her performance has since amassed almost 100,000,000 views on YouTube.”

What is the storyline of the new Yaris TV advert?

JR: “In ‘Why Stop?’ we see Katelyn move effortlessly through lines of city traffic; throwing her body from one awe-inspiring tumble into another, finally revealing that she is, in fact, a physical metaphor for the Toyota Yaris. Her energy, focus, and perfectionism are the embodiment of the Yaris’ regenerative hybrid powertrain.”

How is the story connected to the philosophy behind new Yaris?

JR: “The new Yaris hybrid is the car with the energy to keep going. In fact, Toyota’s spirit of continuous improvement helped define its new shape, new tech, and better performance. They simply never ever stopped. Marry that with a hybrid powertrain that’s always fully charged and an audience with a zest for life, it only felt right that all our comms activities were delivered with the same energetic, inexhaustible, never stopping, charged, ready-to-go spirit.

Toyota gymnast

“Katelyn was felt to be the perfect embodiment of the new Yaris hybrid’s unstoppable energy. The challenge was how to put her routine with all its thrilling energy on the road.”

Who came up with the creative concept for the new Yaris TV advert?

JR: “The creative idea was defined by Phil Beaumont, Creative Director at The&Partnership Europe. The idea was realised with the help of Independent Films and director Philippe Andre.”

JR: “The TVC was shot in Cape Town, South Africa, in December 2019. The main scenes were shot on one of Cape Town’s busy central boulevards, Riebeek St, however driving footage was also captured in other areas of the city.”

Toyota gymnast

What were the challenges of filming the new Yaris TV advert?

JR: “The production challenge was vast. Shot over five days, the production house, Independent Films, closed off Riebeek St and dressed all its five blocks, with a comprehensive art department creating fully functioning barbers, bakers and fashion boutiques to give the setting an appropriately European cosmopolitan feel.

“The stage set, Independent’s Philippe Andre teamed up with DOP Ottar Gudnason, shooting on a mixture of Sony Venice and Phantom cameras to capture the complex choreographed gymnastics routine. This required pre-production planning on a level similar to that of a feature film.”

What is the music in the new Yaris TV advert?

JR: “Out of the Sky by Random Recipe.”

Discover more about the all-new Yaris Hybrid by clicking here


  1. Why in the new Yaris Hybrid advert are the featured cars left hand drive, when in Cape Town, South Africa they drive on the left with right hand drive cars?

  2. Hi there,
    This is an advert for the European market, which predominantly drive left hand drive vehicles.
    Yes, the advert was shot in Cape Town, but on closed roads, using pre-production vehicles.

  3. Who cares where’s its shot? This is a great advert and has introduced me to a very talented gymnast I had not heard of before. Thanks Toyota for a great advert and for posting the other perfect score video for katelyn ohashi, I would encourage all to watch this magnificent display.

    1. Hi Mr Iron,
      Thanks for your comment.
      It’s great that you’re a fan of Katelyn Ohashi – she’s an incredible gymnast!
      Are you also a fan of the all-new Yaris?

  4. Ooooh, I’m so tempted. I have had a beautiful Toyota Aygo X-Wave since July 2015 and had thought I would never have to buy another car but…………
    I currently don’t pay road tax of course. What would the road tax be on this one?

    1. Hi there,
      Thanks for getting in touch with us. We can’t blame you – the all-new Yaris is truly an amazing car, but we’re also glad you’re enjoying your Aygo!
      For the Yaris Hybrid, the road tax is £125 for the first year, and then £140 for each year afterwards. However, this is specification dependent due to its impact on the CO2 emissions.
      We would recommend building the exact specification you would like on our car configurator in order to check the CO2 emissions, here:

  5. Beautiful car with the advertisement shot in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, Cape Town, South Africa. Well Done!

    1. Hi Bianca, thanks for your kind feedback.

      You can check out the details of our all-new Yaris Hybrid here: It’s actually our safest car we’ve ever built, so we’re very proud!


  6. a talented beautiful gymnast a superb advert for a super car .
    i have a suggestion for a remake of the old toyota ad “the car in front is a toyota”
    how about after two wins at le mans could we see the two cars in front are toyota hybrids the footage of them crossing the line together is one of the most iconic in motorsport

  7. Unfortunately, the latest Toyota Yaris advert with the mustard yellow car, has the age-old advert ploy of having pigeons purposely placed in front of it, and when the car is suddenly driven off at an extreme angle, at least one of them doesn’t stand a chance and is crushed beneath the front wheels. So obvious the film is cut just as the wheel hits the birds. This cruel practice has to stop.

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      Are you referring to the Yaris Cross advert?
      We can assure you that no pigeons were hurt in the production of this.

  8. I have the same fear as Jennifer, why put these pigeons in front of a car that is going to move off, suddenly at speed? It does look as though at least one bird suffered. As Jennifer said, the advertisement moves on before we can see if the birds are all uninjured? Still very concerned and think ayt least one bird suffered/

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