After its paternal score in the Super Bowl, Toyota steers the conversation back to dads with two short Father’s Day films from Saatchi and Saatchi Los Angeles. The carmaker is also erecting an “I (Heart) Dad” monument next week on Southern California’s Santa Monica Beach Pier.
One of the films, “Father’s Day Reunion,” follows 20-something Phil Eastman, whose parents divorced when he was 8, and who last spent Father’s Day with his dad 15 years ago. Toyota chose Eastman from hundreds of on-the-street interviews it conducted last month in Los Angeles, and sent him on a surprise visit to see his father, a latter-day cowboy type who lives in dusty Hyattville, WyO. (population: 75).
During the film, the perspective shifts between Eastman and his dad, as both share their feelings about their relationship. “I didn’t have a lot of time to spend with him growing up,” Eastman says. “My dad always reached out, but I sort of pulled away.” As an adult, Eastman is “still kind of wondering … who he is in my life.”
His dad, an environmentally conscious dude who lives on an expansive ranch-style property, says, “We’ve always been close, but there were times when we had some big gaps.”
These days, “every time I see my dad,” Eastman says, “it feels like I’m coming back home.” Getting together helps both men shed baggage so they can enjoy each other’s company in the here and now.