BY GERRY MILES
Although it talks about bold choices leading to another, it’s hard to think of the Toyota Camry as bold in any way.
Toyota went to great pains during the warmer months to show off its 260+HP Camry as a race car ready ride and how it can handle. Does anyone seriously need a 260 horse Camry? Maybe not and to break the belief(s) that it’s a highly-purchased utilitarian vanilla motoring appliance it needed to do so. Nissan staged a similar commercial with one of its cars, decked out in faux race-car cladding. Anyone doubt that racing and winning on Sunday doesn’t sell on Monday? If so, go to the back of the line, please.
While he’s one of the most recognized artists around, BB King and his famed guitar Lucille, hope to tickle the heart strings of buyers and cement Camry as America’s best-selling car. Heck, I’ve even seen some recently used as a manner of livery. Who knew?
Ultimately, Toyota’s ad speak wants its new ad campaign to live inspired lives while going where they’ve never gone before. (Isn’t that the start of a space movie? I’m not sure but it sounds like the undercurrent of so many products these days, who can tell?)
The campaign—‘One Bold Choice Leads to Another’—is the first launch initiative under Total Toyota (T2), a total market model that creates a more cohesive marketing approach to Toyota’s paid, earned and owned media by unifying the efforts of previously separate agencies.
“The 2015 Camry launch campaign captures what the new Toyota brand is all about,” said Jack Hollis, Vice President, Marketing, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. “When we created our new marketing model less than a year ago, our quest was to connect with guests in more exciting and relevant ways. This campaign is just the beginning, and we think our drivers will be able to feel the new energy we’re bringing to the brand.”
All of the T2 agencies (Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles, Burrell Communications, Conill, InterTrend Communications and Zenith) came together under Saatchi LA’s leadership to arrive at a core idea for the campaign. Once established, the core idea served as the guide for all of the creative work, which targets the total market, including highly-targeted efforts in diversity segments.
The campaign reflects the increasingly diverse American landscape. Consumer research for this campaign uncovered insights that united the Generation X target across multiple ethnic markets. The result was an inspiring connection between a vehicle that’s doing something unexpected with its bold new styling and a generation that likes to stand out as individuals. The respective media and creative departments within the T2 model also worked together to ensure that interesting content is delivered to consumers when and where it’s relevant for their lifestyles.
“The campaign centers on a pivotal message: One bold choice leads to another,” said Jason Schragger, Chief Creative Officer at Saatchi & Saatchi LA, who is leading the T2 creative process. “Through our research, we know buying a car today means buying the label that goes along with it. The boldness of the Camry’s new redesign communicates an unexpected, emotional thrill, and we wanted to capture that spirit of imagination and zest for life while connecting with consumers in meaningful and relevant ways.”
Elements of the campaign include mass reach media, custom programs that speak to guests’ passions with a bold twist, and collaborations with Toyota media partners.
A total of six broadcast spots were developed using multi-cultural insights aimed at a transcultural audience. The commercials share stories of drivers who make a series of bold life choices, each one ending with a touching human moment that aligns with Toyota’s Let’s Go Places tagline.
The :30 debut spot called “Guitar” shows a woman who goes to a storage auction and hits the jackpot (spoiler alert: “Guitar” stars blues legend B.B. King). Another :30 spot, named “Breakout,” features a young man who makes a daring decision at a wedding. A third :30 spot, “Bucket List,” tells the story of a man who takes the trip of a lifetime with someone he hasn’t seen in far too long.
Additionally, “Fix” features a husband’s bold driving skills while chasing a frozen yogurt truck in his new Camry to deliver a tasty treat to his very happy, pregnant wife. “Movie Premiere” follows a dapper man to a movie premiere. As he leaves in his Camry, the lead actress escapes the ensuing paparazzi, hops into the vehicle’s passenger side, and they drive off together. In “Park,” a husband and wife “sneak” into an amusement park after hours in their Camry for a surprise, romantic dinner to celebrate a special occasion.
Camry as a bold car choice? I’ve never thought of it before.
But I’ve never thought Caddy would use Led Zepplin sound in commercials as they moved away from selling Leviathans to the wheelchair set and those with walkers and tennis balls on the backside either.
Never say never.
Still note sure how BB King fits into it, other than they got me to write about it.