Burrell Gets Stylish for Toyota

Burrell Communications’ first work for Toyota puts the Corolla and Camry in settings familiar to an African American target and suggests the cars are stylish as well as dependable.

TV spots that broke late last month and print set for November issues of African American target magazines aim the Camry at an older audience, while work for the Corolla, which is aimed at a younger buyer, emphasizes fun, said Fay Ferguson, managing director of the Chicago agency.

In a commercial for the 2003 Camry, an older man plays chess with a younger guy in a city square. He starts to taunt his opponent, but, during his harangue, the younger man beeps open his Camry for a friend to get his jacket. The older man sees the car, is stopped cold, and then loses the game as the Toyota owner announces, “Checkmate.”

In a Corolla spot, a hipster is so enthralled with driving the car, he starts it up and pops in a CD to go to a party across the street. The car “takes the fun as far as you want to go,” a voiceover says.

Both ads end with the tag line, “Get the feeling.”

The work is intended to tap “very much into that urban mind-set” and “infuse the type of cool aspect that you don’t typically see in a Toyota spot,” Ferguson said.

The work is running on BET, as well as general market outlets, said Steve Sturm, vp, marketing for Toyota Motor Sales USA. “The message is diverse enough to play on both,” he said.

Toyota committed to spending $8 billion over 10 years on minority efforts last summer after running afoul of the Rev. Jesse Jackson over an ad from Saat chi & Saatchi that de picted a gold inlay of a RAV4 in a black man’s front tooth.

As part of the deal, Burrell was assigned African American advertising following a review. Spending for Burrell’s work and Hispanic efforts from Conill Advertising is expected to reach $50 million a year, Sturm said.