Toyota Steers Camry Toward Black Women Via AOL Channel

AOL's BlackvoicesToyota is hoping to get African-American women to take a second look at its Camry with an extension to its recently launched "If Looks Could Kill" Web program. The Torrance, Calif.-based U.S. sales arm of the automaker is promoting Camry via a new video series on AOL.

The program--"The Black Voices Weekly Wire," part of AOL's channel--is a six-week, three-minute video recap of top entertainment news for the week. The show is hosted by Tatyana Ali, a singer and actress who was on "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air." AOL says Toyota helped develop the video program, which is located at

Said Dionne Colvin, national advertising strategy & planning manager, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.: "We want to reach the target by providing compelling content that puts African-American women in the driver's seat, and 'Black Voices' is a leader in reaching this valuable consumer online."



"Black Voices Weekly Wire" runs through Aug. 1. The weekly entertainment video segments will cover the previous week's happenings in the worlds of fashion, music, movies, TV and interactive entertainment.

Tariq Muhammad, director,, says the Weekly Wire project was a joint venture with Toyota. He says Toyota gets support for "If Looks Could Kill" via advertising that runs throughout the Weekly Wire site, on which Toyota is exclusive. "We wanted it to be video-rich, interactive, engaging, and easy on the eyes."

Muhammad says traffic on, which AOL has owned for four years, includes 6 million unique views in May. Sponsors include the U.S. Army, Unilever's Vaseline, State Farm, Volvo and Wal-Mart.

Toyota's seven-week-long "If Looks Could Kill" program launched in early June. That program wraps Camry advertising, interactivity, and promotions around an episodic online movie about a young woman--Bianca--who works for an imperious fashion kingpin while traversing the world of high fashion and the shadowy depths of espionage, back alley warrens and nefarious characters to find her friend Mirta.

She uses her Camry and its features, as well as audience participation, to further the plot. Each week, participants are given a chance to win rewards and the ultimate prize-- the 2009 Toyota Camry V6 XLE.

Muhammad says "Black Voices" is the most popular African-American site online. About 60% of visitors to the site are women, with a site-visitor median age range between 25 and 35. "We also have a significant audience of non-African American viewers," he says. As for extending the Weekly Wire beyond six weeks, "It's something we are eager to extend, and will look to see if they are interested as well."

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