Toyota Assists Urban Entrepreneurs
Date: Thursday, January 04 @ 19:29:06 UTC
Toyota Assists Urban Entrepreneurs
--New Avalon Spot Features Urban Shoe Designer Greedy Genius--
CHICAGO, Jan. 4 -- Toyota's new Avalon Limited campaign "The Assist" provides a rare glimpse into a common practice among Black businesses: the established "success story" giving back to his community by buying products from an African-American entrepreneur who is still up-and-coming. Toyota goes a step further and "walks its talk" by featuring custom-made sneakers from one of the newest and hottest urban shoe outfitters, Greedy Genius. The campaign launched via a 30-second television spot on BET and CW networks and will be followed by a 60-second in-cinema spot to run in targeted markets.
"The Avalon is designed for the smart and unpretentious driver," said Kim McCullough, Corporate Manager, Toyota Marketing Communications. "We want ambitious, independent-minding individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit to picture themselves behind the wheel."
The commercial also provides the television debut of the Greedy Genius company and uses it as a vehicle to highlight African-American enterprise.
"The very spirit of our company is defined by entrepreneurialism," said Greedy Genius partner Nick Loftis. "It's a tribute to Greedy Genius and all business focused people for Toyota to send such a strong and thoughtful message in this campaign. We are delighted they featured our sneakers along side the new 2007 Toyota Avalon and look forward to the possibility of working with them in the future."
Burrell Communications, Toyota's African-American agency of record, created the spot with an eye towards providing more insight into the cultural motivations of the African-American community. "It is important that the creative stays with what is real for consumers while still drawing them into a story," says Munier Sharrief, Creative Director, Burrell Communications. "By focusing on the aspect of giving back and the rise of entrepreneurship in our community we do that, but we also keep it innovative by using a designer like Greedy Genius to show the Avalon driver in a new, fresh, youthful light."
A steady rain begins to fall on an outdoor New York shopping district and many of the vendors close up their shops except one enterprising young guy who covers his stand in plastic to stay dry while continuing to sell his custom- made Greedy Genius designer sneakers. A Toyota Avalon stops across the street and an African American businessman exits, jogs to the entrepreneur's stand and buys the entire shoe display. The young guy looks up at him in surprise and then looks down at his feet and notices the businessman is wearing Greedy Genius sneakers. The businessman gives the guy his investment banker business card and says laughingly, "I'm a fan." The businessman stuffs the sack of Greedy Genius custom kicks into his Avalon and drives away. His wife in the passenger seat smiles knowingly and says, "That guy reminds me of someone."
"The Assist" television spots began airing on November 13.
Toyota established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates ten manufacturing plants including one under construction. There are more than 1,400 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships in the U.S., which sells more than 2 millions vehicles a year. Toyota directly employs more than 32,000 people in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $13 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design.
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