Hype Collab: Toyota x Nickelodeon: Spongebob Square Pants Highlander

I am a child of the 80s and back then cartoons were freakin’ cool.  Today, not so much.  In fact kids cartoons these days straight out suck.  There is nary a transforming robot to be found.  Instead, there are shows based on trading cards and abstract weird characters created by hipsters who grew up in the late 90s.  However, there is one exception: SpongeBob SquarePants. 

SpongeBob is awesome.  I can and have watched that show all day without getting tired of it.  You want to judge me? I dare you to watch one episode and not laugh once.  I DARE you!

Anyhow, if you really love SpongeBob then you’ll really want to pay attention to this.  To help launch the new family friendly Highlander SUV, Toyota has partnered with Nickelodeon to build a SpongeBob SquarePants themed Highlander to go on tour across the country.  At these stops families can come and check out the SpongeBob Highlander, play games, win prizes, and other fun stuff.  Alternatively fans can go to www.nick.com/Highlander to design their own SpongeBob Highlander and enter a contest to win a Highlander of their own (more details in the press release below). 

Click the thumbnails below for a better look at the SpongeBob Highlander and then ask yourself: would you drive it? Spoiler alert: I totally would!


Press Release:

NEW YORK–July 12, 2013—Nickelodeon and Toyota are making this the best summer ever for SpongeBob fans with the creation of the first SpongeBob SquarePants-inspired vehicle. The SpongeBob 2014 Toyota Highlander will feature a custom SpongeBob-themed exterior and an interior design that captures all of the beloved character’s high-octane energy.  The one-of-a-kind concept vehicle will be unveiled on July 13th, during Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob Day at the Padres vs. Giants game in San Diego, Calif. The car will then hit the road for a “Happy Driving!” promotional tour throughout the U.S., bringing SpongeBob’s special brand of fun to seven locations across the country.
“We are thrilled to partner with Toyota to produce this truly unique SpongeBob SquarePants-themed Highlander,” said Pam Kaufman, Chief Marketing Officer, Nickelodeon Group. “Through the ‘Happy Driving!’ program, SpongeBob fans across the nation will have a chance to interact with SpongeBob in a whole new, four-wheeled way.”   
“We are pumped and honored to partner with Nickelodeon, and especially SpongeBob, to help launch the all-new 2014 Highlander. Like the Highlander, SpongeBob is family friendly and just plain fun – what more could you want in a family vehicle and cartoon?” said Jack Hollis, VP of marketing, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
As part of the “Happy Driving!” campaign, the SpongeBob Toyota Highlander will visit seven locations, including Nickelodeon Suites Resort, Orlando, Fla. (Aug. 2-4]; SpongeBob Shellabration, Hollywood, Calif. (Sept. 7-8), Artscape Festival, Baltimore, Md.(July 19-21); Eat Real Festival, Oakland, Calif. (Sept. 27-29); Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America, Minneapolis, Minn. (Aug. 9-11); NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Chicagoland Speedway, Chicago, Ill. (Sept. 15); Gourmet on Gore Festival (Aug. 30-Sept. 2); LA Auto Show, Los Angeles Calif. (Nov. 30-Dec. 9).  These events will feature character meet-and-greets and photo opportunities, a prize wheel where kids and families can win exclusive SpongeBob Toyota Highlander branded premiums, airbrush tattoos and interactive areas where kids can create a fun SpongeBob GIF to share with friends online.
The SpongeBob Toyota Highlander summer-long promotion will also be supported online with a dedicated website and promoted through digital display advertising and social media.  Now through November, fans can log onto www.nick.com/highlander to create their own design for the SpongeBob Toyota Highlander; download kits for family road trips that include SpongeBob branded printable games and coloring pages; watch special behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the SpongeBob Highlander; play SpongeBob online games; and enter the “SpongeBob Highlander” sweepstakes for a chance to win a Toyota Highlander.  Additionally, fans can go to the Nickelodeon, SpongeBob and Patrick Facebook pages to see photos of the SpongeBob Highlander’s road trip and the intricate design details of the vehicle.

The redesigned 2014 Highlander made its global debut on March 27 at the 2013 New York Auto Show. The “Happy Driving!” tour offers the chance to showcase the all-new model of the mid-size crossover SUV. The 2014 Highlander has plenty of cargo room, enhanced safety features and a sophisticated interior – making it the perfect family vehicle to help people go places and make memories together. To learn more about the all-new Highlander, visit Toyota.com/Highlander.

Beyond the Toyota partnership, Nickelodeon will be celebrating all things Bikini Bottom this summer with a myriad of SpongeBob-themed activities taking place nationwide, capped by the first-ever SpongeBob Fan Shellabration at Universal Studios Hollywood, in Los Angeles, Calif., Sept. 7-8.  This summer, Gallery Nucleus will curate and host a fan-created SpongeBob-themed art exhibition in Alhambra, Calif., July 27-Aug. 11.  In August, Nickelodeon will announce the winners of the first-ever SpongeBob SquareShorts: Original Fan Tributes, a global competition that encouraged SpongeBob fans to create and submit short films, across all genres, featuring everyone’s favorite porous pal.  The winning short will be screened at the inaugural SpongeBob Fan Shellabration in September.

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