Charlestowne Mall shifted gears to play a titular role in Toyota’s new GR86 commercial.
In the bit, three members of Toyota’s Gazoo Racing team showed off the sports car to a focus group, ramping up excitement by flying inside and outside the old mall in St. Charles.
A contrast pans out across the four-minute commercial. While group members were struck by the car’s imaginative stunts directed by two company executives, another pair of executives tried to showcase its rather run-of-the-mill features, such as its backup camera.
In the GR Supra's opening scene, the car enters the mall’s stranded parking lot, drifting past Classic Cinemas Charlestowne 18 Theatre to park next to several shopping carts.
Throughout the shoot, the car dodged pillars and skidded past vacant departments, including the former Kohl's storefront.
The car later tracks into Carson Pirie Scott for a lap and exits to weave past pillars and pull off one final trick: a leap across the raised platform that once led shoppers to the elevators.
The focus group was left cheering as a class of the GR Supra gathered in the parking lot to close out the commercial.
After 26 years of operation, the city retired the mall Dec. 1, 2017. The movie theatre and a Von Maur storefront remain as the only departments operating and open to the public.