Toyota, one of the top corporate sponsors of the Tokyo Olympics, has decided against running Olympics-related TV commercials during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The company will be pulling all its games-related ads from rotation.
Toyota’s CEO Akio Toyoda and other top executives will be skipping the Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony on July 23, 2021. This was informed by Toyota’s Chief Communications Officer Jun Nagata on July 19, 2021.
Why is Toyota cancelling all its Olympic-themed ads?
Toyota has decided to cancel all its Olympic-themed advertisements during the Tokyo Games despite being one of the top corporate sponsors of the event. Speaking on the same, the Toyota Chief Communications Officer said, “There are many issues with these Games that are proving difficult to be understood.”
Being a corporate sponsor of the event generally means using the Olympic Games as a platform to enhance the brand. However, it seems during the pandemic era, it would be more of a problem for the brand.
As per public opinion surveys, there is widespread concern among Japanese people about having tens of thousands of Olympic participants enter the country during a pandemic.
Will Toyota continue to sponsor Tokyo Olympics?
• Jun Nagata confirmed that Toyota would still supply a fleet of more than 3,000 vehicles to the Olympic games. He also confirmed that the company will continue to support its athletes.
• Over 200 athletes will be taking part in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics who are affiliated with Toyota, including swimmer Takeshi Kawamoto and softball player Miu Goto.
• Toyota had, in fact, filmed a TV spot featuring several of the 200 athletes the company sponsored.
Toyota Motor Corp had signed an eight-year deal to be the worldwide Olympic sponsor in 2015, becoming the first automaker to join IOC’s top-tier marketing program.
The sponsorship, which started in 2017 runs through the 2024 Olympics, covering three consecutive Olympics in Asia, including the Tokyo Games 2020. Toyota is one of the most trusted automakers in Japan.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will be held without fans due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in Japan. The opening ceremony is likely to be attended by IOC President Thomas Bach and Japanese Emperor Naruhito.