Toyota Pumps $10m Into Cellphone Entertainment

02 August 2006

Japanese carmaker Toyota continues its successful assault on the US auto market with a promotional innovation - a comedy video series created specifically for multimedia mobile phones.

It has invested over $10 million in the project which will promote the 2007 Camry model to so-called "young connecteds". It has chosen comedy as the route to reach this desirable market sector.

Explains one of the show's makers, Brad Gillingham, ceo of Fun Little Movies: "[Young connecteds] use technology as a way of empowering themselves, so if they perceive that this is nothing but a commercial, the game is up right there. They will tune out. The whole premise of this is to entertain."

His aim is to associate the Camry brand with a good time. Says he: "Comedy is the best way to do that. It's the most viral form of content."

In what is claimed as another US first, Toyota is buying spots on broadcast and cable TV, both to showcase the new Camry via excerpts from the cellphone comedy series and to lure viewers to their mobiles.

Titled The Pool, the series starts August 9 and will be accessible to around one million users of Sprint/Nextel video-enabled phones.

Data sourced from AdWeek (USA); additional content by WARC staff