US ‘Team Toyota’ Athletes Share Their Gift With The World In Poetry-Led ‘Paper Stories’ Campaign

The IOC and Team USA sponsor Toyota teamed up with agency MediaMonks and a group of elite US athletes to create a stop motion film which aimed to deliver a touch of holiday joy by turning seeing into believing.


With help from some of the planet’s leading athletes, the IOC’s Worldwide Mobility Partner launched a seasonal short film called ‘Paper Stories’ which leads viewers on an adventure through a paper-white winter wonderland with Team Toyota athletes narrating a festive holiday poem themed around passion, strength, dedication, courage and trust.


Toyota Motor North America’s 60-second film shines a spotlight on the Team Toyota Olympic and Paralympic athletes and positions them as extraordinary storytellers and storymakers by unwrapping their personal stories of triumph and adversity which unite and inspire far beyond medals and records.


The athlete ambassadors starring in the spot include snowboarder Chloe Kim, cyclist Oksana Masters, ice skater Nathan Chen, skateboarder Jordyn Barratt, plus track and field stars David Brown and Jerome Avery.


They all feature in scenes – combining stop motion, illustration and animation – reflecting their own sports and they all seek to inspire confidence and strength through a heartwarming animated spot which is bookended by live action scenes.


As each athlete narrates a portion of the central poem, the film climaxes in a final scene which seeks to spark a feeling of holiday wonder while demonstrating that these are not simply fair stories, but real-life experiences.



‘Paper Stories’ debuted on NBC and Fox during festive NFL games, before also running across US television on ABC, Freeform, MTV, Nickelodeon and Hallmark between 21 and 24 December.


The film was further amplified via the Toyota Newsroom and on Instagram.


“At Toyota, we’ve been focusing on listening to our audiences to ensure that we are showing up for them in really meaningful ways,” said Dedra DeLilli, Group Manager of Olympic and Paralympic Marketing at Toyota Motor North America. “We found that people are looking for a sense of unity, joy and camaraderie and knowing our Team Toyota athletes can speak to that, we knew we had a clear opportunity. In partnership with MediaMonks, we crafted a beautiful piece of content that reminds us of the true meaning of the holiday season.”


“Toyota wanted to shift the focus from athletes’ accomplishments to draw attention to the effect they have in inspiring everyday audiences,” explained MediaMonks Executive Creative Director Christy Srisanan. “In doing so, we found an opportunity to visually represent athletes’ stories in a new way. Rather than the typical reliance on archival footage of performance on the field, we built a new approach that brought people together across skills and disciplines at record speed, changing the narrative in sports by turning the lens around.”





This Olympic initiative follows on from previous Toyota Olympic activations such as its March 2020 Covid-19 linked ‘Heroic Medals’ campaign (see case study) as well as its Special Olympics activation like its April 2020 ‘All Dreams Are Equal’ (see case study).





Toyota Motor North America



Media Monks



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