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Ground Zero Gets $10 Mil. Toyota Project

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LOS ANGELES Toyota Motor Sales USA has tapped Ground Zero to handle an estimated $10 million youth-targeted viral marketing campaign, the client confirmed.

The independent Marina del Rey, Calif., shop overcame Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi in Torrance, Calif., which is Toyota's lead agency, and Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco.

"We asked the agencies to present something new, fresh and innovative for the Toyota Corolla and Matrix XRS," said Deborah Wahl-Meyer, Toyota corporate marketing communications manager. "All three presented us great ideas, and Ground Zero's was the one we liked best."

Ground Zero is charged with developing nontraditional ideas for several upcoming Toyota products, including the Corolla XRS, Celica, Matrix XRS and the 2005 Tacoma pickup truck, which will debut this fall. The shop partnered with Dentsu for the pitch.

The campaign will run from July through September and will focus on the "style, sportiness and fun-to-drive performance of the Toyota brand's youth vehicles," according to a statement issued by Toyota in Torrance, Calif. The campaign will include elements for the Internet, as well as direct and event marketing.

—with Gregory Solman