Just Rewards: Saatchi Revs Solara

Toyota Urges Buyers To ‘Indulge Themselves’ With New Camry Coupe
LOS ANGELES–Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. has long touted the quality and reliability of its vehicles in its advertising. Now, Saatchi & Saatchi is telling consumers to treat themselves to the car maker’s new Camry Solara coupe.
The work, which broke this month during telecasts of high-profile sporting events, including a Major League Baseball game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs, uses the theme, “It’s for you,” to position the new sporty two-door model as a reward for hard-working car buyers. Toyota is backing the campaign with an estimated $30-$50 million in ad spending [Adweek, Sept. 7].
“We’re giving people permission to indulge themselves a little,” said Joe McDonagh, executive creative director at Saatchi in Los Angeles.
The ads are targeted toward baby boomers as well as young professionals. The 30-second launch spot, for example, takes aim at buyers who feel they’ve earned a degree of freedom. “There are times when life is full of responsibilities. There are vehicles for those times. This is not one of those vehicles,” says a voiceover.
Two more 30-second TV spots will break nationally this month, along with print and outdoor ads.
Toyota has said it is launching the Solara to fill a hole in its 1999 model lineup (a previous Camry coupe fizzled a few years ago). But sources said the vehicle, introduced last month, is playing a much more important role–helping to defend Camry’s status as the best-selling car in the U.S. “Honda has an Accord coupe; Toyota didn’t,” said one source. “This shows that Toyota will be pretty aggressive about keeping Camry number one.”
Aided by the Solara, Camry is leading the U.S. market in sales volume again this year after a slow start, according to industry reports. Last year, Camry for the first time passed the previous champs, the Honda Accord and Ford Taurus, to take over the pole position.
Toyota expects to sell roughly 50,000 Solara models per year, at $19,000-26,000 each.