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Idris Elba Takes The Lead In 'Only The Name Remains' Avalon Campaign (His 007 Audition?)

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act April 11, 2013 at 8:19PM

Idris Elba takes on the lead role in a dramatic, spy-themed advertising campaign for the 2013 Toyota Avalon, titled Only the Name Remains.
Idris Avalon

Idris Elba takes on the lead role in a dramatic, spy-themed advertising campaign for the 2013 Toyota Avalon, titled Only the Name Remains.

It's the first-ever TV commercial for Elba, by the way, which was created in collaboration with Burrell Communications

Directed by filmmaker Antony Hoffman, Only the Name Remains begins with 3 somewhat suspenseful TV spots that follow Elba's secret agent character on the run from an old enemy, taking his Avalon on a city-wide adventure. 

The third and final spot in the television series ends with a cliffhanger, directing the audience to watch the conclusion at

"'Only the Name Remains' complements the sleek and stylish design of the all-new Avalon with the secret agent storyline," stated David Chung, National Manager, Targeted Advertising and Strategy for Toyota.

"We developed the concept for 'Only the Name Remains' by tapping into the interests of African American consumers and are thrilled with the final product," said Lewis Williams, Chief Creative Officer, Burrell Communications Group. "Our goal was to help introduce the radically new 2013 Toyota Avalon and at the same time take the audience on a memorable cinematic adventure."

So, you tell me, as African Americans, does the campaign do anything for you, since you are its target audience? 

As for my suggestion that it's Elba's audition for James Bond (which he's been rumored to be a takeover candidate for after Daniel Craig's contractual obligations end), well, no, it's not. But you get to see him in "secret/spy agent" mode for about a minute or two.

Burrell has been the African American agency-of-record for Toyota since 2001.

Watch the 3 TV spots below, and then head over to for the conclusion, where you take over the wheel:

This article is related to: Idris Elba

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