When H&L Partners drafted a promising, but relatively unknown San Francisco Giants rookie catcher to be the face of Toyota’s regional advertising across Northern California and the Central Valley, it wasn’t as big of a gamble as some thought.
We were fans ourselves, after all, and we recognized the potential behind the mask, despite the challenges of casting someone who rarely showed his face on the field.
Over more than a decade of humorous commercials, our efforts helped define Buster’s likability off the field.
We never portrayed Buster as a pitch person or even a spokesperson for the Toyota brand. Instead, we let Buster be Buster—riffing on his star power and building brand affinity among Northern Californians for Toyota.
We later brought on an ensemble cast, including Buster’s wife, Kristen, Hall of Famers Willie Mays and Jon Miller, Manager Bruce Bochy, the legendary broadcast team of Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper, Renel Brooks-Moon, Amy Gutierrez, and even the team mascot, Lou Seal.
Video submission here: https://youtu.be/NxAqQaBeXUQ