Toyota builds SpongeBob 2014 Highlander for Nickelodeon

Article by Anita Panait, on July 14, 2013

Good news for SpongeBob fans! A partnership between Nickelodeon and Toyota has led to the creation of the SpongeBob 2014 Toyota Highlander. This one-of-a-kind concept vehicle will feature a custom SpongeBob-themed exterior as well as an interior design that exudes the character’s dynamic energy.  The SpongeBob 2014 Toyota Highlander will have its debut on July 13, 2013 at Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob Day at the Padres vs. Giants game in San Diego, California.

The SpongeBob 2014 Toyota Highlander will then have its “Happy Driving!” promotional tour on seven locations across the United Sates. The SpongeBob 2014 Toyota Highlander will tour seven locations like the Artscape Festival in Baltimore, Maryland on July 19-21, 2013; the Nickelodeon Suites Resort in Orlando, Florida on Aug. 2-4, 2013; the Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Aug. 9-11, 2013; the Gourmet on Gore Festival on Aug. 30 to Sept. 2, 2013; the SpongeBob Shellabration in Hollywood, California on Sept. 7-8, 2013; the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Chicagoland Speedway in Chicago, Illinois on Sept. 15, 2013; the Eat Real Festival in Oakland, California on Sept. 27-29, 2013; and the LA Auto Show in Los Angeles California on Nov. 30 to Dec. 9, 2013.

These events will feature character meet-and-greets and photo opportunities. They will also feature a prize wheel where families can win exclusive SpongeBob Toyota Highlander branded premiums. The events will also feature airbrush tattoos and interactive areas. The SpongeBob 2014 Toyota Highlander promotion will be supported online with a dedicated Web site and will be featured in digital display advertising and social media. 

Fans could also log onto www.nick.com/highlander to create their own design for the SpongeBob Toyota Highlander as well download kits for family road trips that include SpongeBob branded printable games and coloring pages. The site also allows fans to watch special behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the SpongeBob Highlander and play SpongeBob online games. Fans could also enter the “SpongeBob Highlander” sweepstakes for a chance to win a Toyota Highlander.

Two words that can describe the new Highlander from Toyota is that it is dynamic and sophisticated. It has sculptured side-door panels with a profile that can be described as progressive. Meanwhile the roofline has a lower position to enhance the vehicle’s aerodynamics. When compared against the previous version, the new Highlander is longer by three inches and wider by half an inch.

This helps give it that strong and sleek look. On the front section, the trapezoidal grille has been redesigned and this is combined with the hood, deeply chiseled fenders, and the wraparound headlamps. Because of this, the new Highlander reveals a look that is clearly more aggressive. Looking at its profile, starting from the fenders in the front and all the way to the quarter panels in the rear, the defining features are the sculptured wheel wells paced at the vehicle’s corners.

This result in the wheels being more pronounced. Rounding off the features on Toyota’s latest offering is the rear life-gate that comes with a new design. This life-gate allows for a power one-touch open/close with the driver given the option to select the memory height settings.

Meanwhile, the bumper and taillights display the model’s strength and style. According to Toyota, the body structure of the Highlander will have the front pillars use high-strength steel resulting in the rigidity being increased. The brand also changed the placement of the A-pillars in the front enhancing the visibility. Finally, the size of the quarter glass in the rear was increased to give both driver and the occupants a better view of the outside.

Press Release

Nickelodeon and Toyota Create SpongeBob SquarePants-Inspired 2014 Toyota Highlander

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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