Toyota Prius Donkey on Big Rock Candy Mountain

Toyota‘s hybrid vehicle, the Prius, was the focus of an award-winning television commercial made in Australia in 2005. A down and out man walking through a forest comes across a pair of boots dangling from a tree. Hardly believing his luck, he exchanges his shoes for the boots and walks on. Recovering from a slide down a hill, the man comes face to face with a donkey. He rides the donkey out into a river valley where he finds an abandoned dray. When the dray falls apart the man and donkey continue walking. Lifting the head off a scarecrow, the man sets his eyes on the next vehicle, an abandoned tractor. The donkey is left behind in a cloud of smoke.

Toyota Prius Donkey ad

Next vehicle is a truck. But it’s locked. Inside a shed the man finds a vintage Maserati under wraps and finds it capable of great speeds. Just as he runs out of petrol he finds the ultimate vehicle, a gleaming Toyota Prius. The super: “The petrol electric Toyota Prius. Keep moving forward.”


The Toyota Prius Donkey campaign was developed at Saatchi & Saatchi Australia, Sydney, by art directors/copywriters Scott McBurnie and David Nobay, account executive Anne Gibson and Marianne Bess.

Filming was directed by Steve Rogers at Revolver Films, with director of photography Nigel Bluck, art director Annie Beauchamp and producer Michael Ritchie.

Editor was Alexandre de Franceschi at Guillotine. Sound was designed by Simon Lister at Nylon Studios.

Toyota Prius Donkey won awards at the European Car Advertising Film Festival for scenario and international, a bronze award at The One Show, 2005, and a bronze for automative at the 2005 CLIO Awards.

Music for Toyota Prius Donkey is the hobo song, “Big Rock Candy Mountain”, written by Harry McClintock in the late 1920s. The track was featured in the 2000 movie, O Brother Where Art Thou?

Lyrics for Big Rock Candy Mountain

O Brother Where Art Thou Soundtrack at Amazon.comOne evening as the sun went down,
And the jungle fire was burning,
Down the track came a hobo hikin’,
And he said, “Boys, I’m not turning.
I’m headed for a land that’s far away,
Beside the crystal fountains,
So come with me, we’ll go and see,
The Big Rock Candy Mountains.

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains,
There’s a land that’s fair and bright,
Where the handouts grow on bushes,
And you sleep out every night,
Where the boxcars all are empty,
And the sun shines every day,
On the birds and the bees,
And the cigarette trees,
The lemonade springs
Where the bluebird sings,
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains,
All the cops have wooden legs,
And the bulldogs all have rubber teeth,
And the hens lay soft boiled eggs.
The farmers’ trees are full of fruit,
And the barns are full of hay,
Oh I’m bound to go,
Where there ain’t no snow,
Where the rain don’t fall,
And the wind don’t blow,
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains,
You never change your socks,
And the little streams of alcohol,
Come a’trickling down the rocks,
The brakemen have to tip their hats,
And the railroad bulls are blind,
There’s a lake of stew,
And of whiskey too,
You can paddle all around ’em
In a big canoe,
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains,
The jails are made of tin,
And you can walk right out again,
As soon as you are in.
There’s no short-handle shovels,
No axes, saws, or picks,
I’m a’goin’ to stay,
Where you sleep all day,
Where they hung the jerk,
Who invented work,
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.

O Brother Where Art Thou Soundtrack at

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