Vroom vroom! The sleek champagne Toyota Camry zips around the corner, coming to a screeching halt. Out steps a leggy, ultra-fashionable African-American woman, arriving to hook up with her ultra-fashionable, successful boyfriend. She flips her keys to the valet – a little “blip blip!” sounds from the Camry’s push-button car alarm, like Kit saying “see ya later!” to Knight Rider. Who is this woman? Where did she get such an awesome car with such swanky accoutrements? Where did she find that hunky boyfriend of hers? What does her rolling stone of a father have to do with the dudes who stole her purse? What kind of pie did Nana bake? And where on earth did she find those fantastic shoes?!
The latest in cross-media marketing mayhem produced by Burrell Communications Group and 42 Entertainment for Toyota’s 2009 Camry, entitled “If Looks Could Kill,” takes you inside the world of high fashion and high espionage with Bianca, the fashionista lead character poised to pique the interest of young, hip, African-American women – women, who indeed, need a swanky Toyota Camry. In each weekly episode of this interactive drama, Bianca is pressed to unravel a mystery of intrigue and espionage, all while juggling the stressful duties of her job as a fashion designer, keeping her boyfriend happy and interested, and making sure not to miss coffee and dessert with her Nana. For seven weeks, participants are treated to six movie-styled webisodes of Bianca’s crazy life as she tools around through New York City (without ever running into traffic) in her champagne-colored Camry (with touch navigation and integrated Bluetooth). Within each episode are opportunities for players to help Bianca escape from trouble, as she turns to the camera and asks you to do something for her, such as download photos and find flyers, and email her the information she needs to stay in the game.
In the first episode, cheekily named “Haute Pursuit,” players are introduced to Bianca, her boss, boyfriend, oldest friend, and Nana – the woman of fantastic desserts. The plot unfolds rapidly in this short format, with Bianca’s purse immediately getting swept up by an unknown male and whisked away in a van (again, without anyone getting stuck in traffic). Shortly after, participants learn that Bianca’s father, a CIA agent, may be the reason behind her stolen purse. What will happen next week? Only those who check back in on June 23rd will discover the next bits of the story.
The campaign is set to run for seven weeks, launching with a runway show on June 11 in partnership with Essence Magazine, and includes glamorous prizes for participants, interactive boutique shopping parties, and a chance to win a 2009 Toyota Camry just like Bianca’s. Women who participate are guaranteed to learn important lessons, such as how to get strangers online to hunt through your garbage, how to call Nana on the Camry’s fancy system, that the police don’t think purse snatchings are a priority, and that green makes that one woman look like baby poop – all that from just one episode! The dialogue may be cheesy, but there is enough in each episode to make the 5 minutes spent enjoyable, with chuckles, chortles and snorts keeping the plot from dragging.
Why are you still sitting there? Put on those stilettos, strut to your computer, and enter today!