B.B. King stars in Toyota Camry launch spots

BB Kings aka Blues Boy King, stars in the new Toyota Camry commercials.

BB Kings aka Blues Boy King, stars in the new Toyota Camry commercials.


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.


Toyota sets 2014 prices for FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser, Prius v, Sequoia, Sienna, Venza and Camry

TORRANCE, Calif., August 2, 2013– -Toyota Motor Sales has announced product and price changes for a number of 2014 model year vehicles. Toyota products affected by these changes include:

  • FJ Cruiser
  • Land Cruiser
  • Prius v
  • Sequoia
  • Sienna
  • Venza
  • Camry

The vehicle content changes and average percentage increase in price are summarized below:

  • FJ Cruiser increases an average of $100 (0.4%)
    • For 2014, FJ Cruiser will offer Cement Grey as a new color option, and Cavalry Blue will be discontinued
    • The truck’s suspension has been improved with an available performance damper
    • A special edition version will be available in February 2014
  • Land Cruiser increases an average of $200.00 (0.3%)
    • For 2014, Land Cruiser is a carryover model with no changes from 2013.
  • Prius v increases an average of $100 (0.4%)
    • For 2014, Prius v is equipped with standard Daytime Running Lights (DRL) for all trim levels. In addition, the Panoramic View Moonroof (currently available as part of the Advanced Technology package on Prius v Five) will be offered as a stand-alone option on Prius v Three.
  • Sequoia increases an average of $711.00 (1.3%),
    • For 2014, Sequoia is equipped with the next generation Entune™ Audio system as follows:
      • SR5 – Entune™ Audio Plus is standard, Entune™ Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite optional
      • Limited – Entune™ Premium Audio with Navigation and App Suite is standard, Entune™ Premium JBL Audio with Navigation and App Suite is optional
      • Platinum – Entune™ Premium JBL Audio with Navigation and App Suite is standard
  • Sienna increases an average of $248.00 (0.8%)
    • For 2014MY, Sienna receives the following updates across all grades:
      • Illuminated cruise control stalk (for both regular and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control)
      • Sienna now has 3500 lbs. towing capacity standard.
      • The Towing Prep Package equipment is now standard equipment across all grades (with the exception of Mobility grades).
  • L
    • Manual lumbar support no longer offered
  • SE
    • Blind Spot Monitor will become a standalone option on SE grade
  • Venza increases an average of $259.00 (0.8%)
    • For 2014, to better match our offerings with customer demand, Venza will no longer offer the following color combinations:
      • Cosmic Gray Exterior with Ivory Fabric or Ivory Leather Interior
      • Sunset Bronze Exterior with Black Fabric or Black Leather Interior
  • XLE
    • Adds power folding outside mirrors to the list of standard equipment
  • Limited
    • 13MY standard equipment, plus:
      • Power folding outside mirrors
      • Front and rear backup sonar

Camry and Camry SE Sport

  • Camry SE Sport will be re-introduced for 2014.  The SE Sport adds appealing equipment to the four-cylinder Camry that includes:
    • Standard equipment:
      • 18” Smoked Alloy wheels (currently standard on SE V6)
      • Power Driver’s Seat
      • Moonroof
    • Optional equipment:
      • The only option for Camry SE Sport is Display Audio with Entune App Suite
    • The SE Sport is value priced with an MSRP of $25,090 (without DPH) regardless of exterior color.
      • This reflects a discount of $435

Toyota vehicles and Destination, Processing, and Handling (DPH) fee 

The Destination, Processing and Handling (DPH) fees shall be increased for all vehicles except for the Large Trucks and Large SUV categories.


DPH Current ($) New ($) Change ($)
Passenger Car $795 $810 $15
Small Light Truck $845 $860 $15
Large Truck SUV $995 $995 $0
Scion $755 $755 $0

The DPH fee is based on the value of the processing, handling and delivery services Toyota provides.  Toyota’s objective is to set this fee at a level that is competitive with the amount charged by other manufacturers for similar services and takes into account such factors as fuel prices.

The Delivery, Processing and Handling fee for vehicles distributed by SET and GST may vary.##

Grade Current MSRP New MSRP MSRP Chg ($) MSRP Chg (%)
PRIUS v Two Model $26,650 $26,750 $100 0.4%
PRIUS v Three Model $27,415 $27,515 $100 0.4%
PRIUS v Five Model $30,295 $30,395 $100 0.3%
VENZA LE L4 FWD $27,850 $27,950 $100 0.4%
VENZA LE V6 FWD $29,670 $29,770 $100 0.3%
VENZA LE L4 AWD $29,300 $29,400 $100 0.3%
VENZA LE V6 AWD $31,120 $31,220 $100 0.3%
VENZA XLE L4 FWD $31,510 $31,810 $300 1.0%
VENZA XLE V6 FWD $33,330 $33,630 $300 0.9%
VENZA XLE L4 AWD $32,960 $33,260 $300 0.9%
VENZA XLE V6 AWD $34,780 $35,080 $300 0.9%
VENZA Limited V6 FWD $37,570 $38,120 $550 1.5%
VENZA Limited V6 AWD $39,020 $39,570 $550 1.4%
FJ CRUISER 4×2 SUV $27,030 $27,130 $100 0.4%
FJ CRUISER 4×4 SUV $28,210 $28,310 $100 0.4%
FJ CRUISER 4×4 SUV $28,620 $28,720 $100 0.3%
SIENNA CE V6 CARGO VAN $24,805 $24,920 $115 0.5%
SIENNA L FWD 7 PSGR $26,585 $26,920 $335 1.3%
SIENNA LE FWD AUTO ACCESS SEAT $36,370 $36,505 $355 1.0%
SIENNA LE FWD 7 PSGR MOBILITY $30,335 $30,690 $355 1.2%
SIENNA LE FWD 8 PSGR $30,135 $30,490 $355 1.2%
SIENNA SE FWD 8 PSGR $33,725 $33,860 $135 0.4%
SIENNA XLE FWD AUTO ACCESS SEAT $40,780 $40,915 $355 0.9%
SIENNA XLE FWD 8 PSGR $33,510 $33,645 $135 0.4%
SIENNA LTD FWD 7 PSGR $40,105 $40,240 $135 0.3%
SIENNA LE AWD 7 PSGR $32,465 $32,920 $455 1.4%
SIENNA XLE AWD 7 PSGR $35,950 $36,185 $235 0.7%
SIENNA LTD AWD 7 PSGR $41,475 $41,710 $235 0.6%
LAND CRUISER 4WD SUV V8 $78,555 $78,755 $200 0.3%
SEQUOIA 4×2 5DR SR5 V8 SUV $42,455 $43,595 $1,140 2.7%
SEQUOIA 4×4 5DR SR5 V8 SUV $45,680 $46,820 $1,140 2.5%
SEQUOIA 4×2 5DR LTD V8 SUV $51,940 $52,555 $615 1.2%
SEQUOIA 4×4 5DR LTD V8 SUV $55,165 $55,780 $615 1.1%
SEQUOIA 4×2 5DR PLAT V8 SUV $59,845 $60,295 $450 0.8%
SEQUOIA 4×4 5DR PLAT V8 SUV $63,070 $63,520 $450 0.7%
SEQUOIA 4×4 5DR SR5 V8 SUV $45,680 $46,820 $1,140 2.5%
SEQUOIA 4×4 5DR LTD V8 SUV $55,165 $55,780 $615 1.1%
SEQUOIA 4×4 5DR PLAT V8 SUV $63,070 $63,520 $450 0.7%