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Toyota ad that aired during Broncos game was filmed at Bridgestone Winter Driving School

Dashing through the snow in a 4Runner

Mark Cox, director of the Bridgestone Winter Driving School, blasts through heavy snow at the driving course just west of Steamboat Springs. In March 2016, Cox drove a more recent model Toyota 4Runner similar to the car in the picture, also in snowy conditions, for a Toyota commercial that aired Nov. 27 during the overtime period of the NFL football game between the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs.
courtesy photo

— Denver Broncos fans who weren’t tearing their hair out during the overtime period of the Nov. 27 football game against the Kansas City Chiefs may have noticed some very familiar mountainous terrain in the background of a snowy television commercial for the 2017 Toyota 4Runner.

Yes, that was Mount Werner and the trails of Steamboat Ski Area in the distant background. Impossible to discern though, was Steamboat resident Mark Cox behind the wheel of the mid-size sport utility vehicle as it flew around the snowy track of the Bridgestone Winter Driving School. Cox has been the director of the driving school since 1992 and an instructor there since 1984.

Toyota is a sponsor of the driving school and is given use of the track, but the drivers are always compensated under Screen Actors Guild guidelines.

Cox’s work as a corporate representative for many automotive companies has led to appearances on all four major networks — CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox. He has also made made appearances on ESPN, the Discovery Channel and Travel Channel among others.

Cox said the Toyota commercial was shot for the international advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi in collaborating with the Colorado Film School in early March. The crew used a remote-controlled drone for aerial shots.

“Almost all of the big agencies have gone to drones now instead of helicopters,” Cox said, while on his way this week to take part in a Ferrari event in Florida.

Cox said other than being highly skilled at driving high-performance cars, being behind the wheel in a television commercial “boils down to having a working relationship with the producer and director,” and understanding “what they want where and when they want it.”

“The timing has to be just right, and you have to be in the perfect spot to get it right,” he said. “Sometimes, you can get it on the first (try), but you almost always shoot another (take) for safety. It can be a long day sometimes, but it beats sitting in an office.”

The Bridgestone Winter Driving School is the most visible aspect of a Steamboat-based organization, Rally Art, but also just one of more than 100 annual events facilitated by the company, Cox said.

“Ferrari is our biggest client,” he said, but the organization also hosts events for Nissan Porsche, Lexus, Acura, Chevrolet, Saab, BMW, Ford, Audi, Volvo, Bosch, DuPont, Optima Batteries, Jeep and many more.

The services offered by Rally Art include media presentations, sales training, lifestyle events, driving coaching and training, product testing and evaluation, and of course, stunt driving.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1


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