Fast Company

Fast Talk: Hip Car Hits the Clubs

Jeri Yoshizu

Sales Promotion Manager, Scion
Torrance, California

Jeri Yoshizu, 38, who runs lifestyle marketing for Toyota's brand Scion, has been helping local musicians produce CDs for more than three years. She is now creating limited-release vinyl records, popular with club DJs and Scion's hipster target audience.

"Scion is not interested in working with a Justin Timberlake or a Kanye [West], or holding a club event on a Saturday night. We don't have the Toyota budget to do that, and anyway, the trendsetting crowds come out on Wednesdays or Thursdays.

We're working off more of a grant model: creative arts more than commercial arts. We'll pair up a hip-hop band that is fairly local with legendary rappers such as Big Daddy Kane or Raekwon. We produce the first 1,000 copies on vinyl, we pay for everything--the manufacturing, studio time, production, PR, and distribution. All of these records are for promotional use only. The band owns the master, which is not normal for the music business. Our goal is that a label will pick them up after we are done.

Does this lead to financial success for Scion? The honest answer is we don't know. Anyone who says it can be measured is flat-out lying. I think the happy stories are 'I went to an event, I heard great music, I love Scion, I bought a car.' Everything contributed to the positive halo."

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