LOS ANGELES -- The largest relaunch in Toyota's history began in earnest yesterday with the launch of 60- and 30-second spots for the redesigned Camry, the company said.
Estimated ad spending is more than $175 million, topping the introduction of the Camry in 2001. Last year, the automaker spent $75 million advertising the model, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.
"It is the franchise," said client corporate manager of marketing communications Kim McCollough. "We're trying to surprise and inspire people. It will appear to current owners and talk about things they don't expect to have in a Camry, speaking to potential new owners and fence-sitters."
The theme of the first commercials, as expressed in a voiceover, is "When does a car become more?" McCullough said. "I love the way humanity is brought into the shot in an unexpected way."
Centered on the carmaker's factory floor in Kentucky, the spots show American workers assembling Camrys.
"We looked at Camry being America's favorite car and asked, 'How do we tell America that we made the car better without thumping our chest?'" said Harvey Marco, executive creative director at Publicis Groupe's Saatchi not ignoring that vanilla is still the No. 1 seller."
McCollough said a "more robust site" for the Camry also goes online today. Print begins this Friday and outdoor goes up April 12. Print executions are divided between visually oriented ads for books such as Vogue and copy-heavy spreads for more reader-focused magazines.
Camry ended last year up 1% in unit sales with 432,000, according to Car Concepts.
-- Gregory Solman, Adweek