Screenshot from Toyota Shorts - Story no.3 Screenshot from Toyota Shorts - Story no.3 A series of new Toyota ads delves into the existential. (Photo: Screenshot)

Car ads that are even trippier than Matthew McConaughey's

These commercials made by an award-winning music video director will leave you scratching your head.

Matthew McConaughey's series of Lincoln car commercials spawned a lot of head scratching and plenty of spoofs, but their existential musings pale in comparison to a new series of shorts from Toyota.

Directed and co-written by Israeli Vania Heymann – he of that funky Coldplay music video "Up & UP" that Chris Martin called one of the "best videos" ever – they wear the influence of oddball auteurs like Charlie Kaufman and Stanley Kubrick well.

In the first short, a woman driving a Prius undergoes an incredible transformation every time she is passed by a car on the highway.

This one seems to confirm the long-held suspicions that driving in the right-hand lane in a Prius can trigger an age-related identity crisis. Nice! It's definitely more cost-effective than a therapist. Not to be outdone, however, the second short is even more surreal.

In it, a tense male driver gets stuck in a roundabout, only to be condemned to picking up the same female hitchhiker over and over before he meets his unfortunate end.

Heymann, a graduate of Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design is only 31 and has already worked with Bob Dylan, Pepsi and American Express. The Toyota ads were conceived by the advertising firm Saatchi & Saatchi and created by Heymann's team of design collaborators in Israel. The shorts are meant to play in theaters before films and surely aim to leave you in an existential state of confusion – which is probably the point.

“We were asked to create content that would appear before a movie,” agency creative director Daniel Barak told AdWeek. “So, we wanted to try and be provoking enough that you would remember it more than two hours later when you left the cinema.”

And as if to nod in the direction of its own eccentricity, the series, released sequentially, skips out on a second film, hopping from the first to the third.

The ads are great, but they do lead one to ask: "But what does it all mean!?"


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